Syria harshly criticizes Turkey on buffer zones
Kurdish refugees evacuate Kobane on Oct. 5. AFP Photo / Aris MessinisSyria has categorically rejected the establishment of buffer zones in any part of its territory “under whatever pretext,” rejecting any intervention of foreign forces in its land.
The war-hit country’s Foreign Ministry said on Oct. 15 that Syria “will take, in consultation with its friends, all of the necessary measures to preserve its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The statement harshly criticized Turkish attempts to seek a buffer zone on its soil, calling it a “gross violation” of the principles, goals and Charter of the United Nations and international law.
The ministry accused the Turkish government of systematically carrying out “everything that could disrupt Syria’s stability and jeopardize its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Turkey’s government, the ministry added, has provided “all forms of political, military and logistic support to the armed terrorist groups whose members have come to Syria from over 83 countries, including shelter, training, funds and arms, as well as access into Syrian territory."
It also claimed that Turkey has therefore turned into a "major base for the terrorism that is striking Syria and Iraq and threatening the other countries of the region."
Turkey has recently agreed to host, equip and train Syrian rebels in cooperation with a U.S.-led coalition.
Meanwhile, police in Syria’s besieged self-ruled Kurdish areas have rounded up hundreds of young men to press them into military service recently made compulsory, activists and Kurdish officials have said.
The unprecedented move, criticized by human rights groups, underlines the desperation of Syria’s Kurds as they fight off an onslaught by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists in Kobane, a town near the Turkish border. More than 550 people have been killed since the group began its offensive on the town in mid-September, and the fighting has forced more than 200,000 people to flee to Turkey.
Mustafa Osso, a senior member of the National Kurdish Council, said police had set up checkpoints and raided homes, adding that they had so far detained some 700 men under the age of 30.
“This has a direct link to what is happening in Kobane,” Osso said, alluding to Kurdish fears of being overrun by ISIL militants.