Syria's Assad warns Turkey, Saudi against ground incursion

Фев 22, 2016, 09:18

Hopes for a truce over the five-year war remain low as a tit-for-tat argument continues between the Syrian Government, the rebels, Russia, Turkey and the coalition.

A plan was agreed for a "nationwide cessation" of violence in the war-torn country a week ago.

Turkey, opposed to the government in neighboring Syria and anxious about advances by Kurdish militants in Syrian territory, this week had to deny a media report that it had already sent troops over the border.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that he was ready for ceasefire in Syria on condition that the "terrorists" don't exploit it. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper, Assad said halting the military operations in Syria demands deterring the terrorists from exploiting it to enhance their positions.

He also said any truce must ensure that "other countries, especially Turkey, are prevented from sending more terrorists and weapons, or any kind of logistical support".

A United Nations spokesman in Geneva said that the global body's Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura was flying back to the city from Damascus Friday and expected to attend a broader meeting on the ceasefire originally planned for the afternoon.

The emergency Security Council meeting came on Friday as US Secretary of State John Kerry cautioned there was "a lot more work to do" for a ceasefire to take hold in Syria, following talks in Geneva between American and Russian officials.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Kerry told Lavrov Washington was deeply concerned about Russia's continued bombing of civilian targets.

Russian Federation has said that it would continue to strike those it considers "terrorists" in Syria even during a cease-fire.

French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre, separately from USA ambassador Samantha Power, told reporters that the draft circulated was a futile attempt, as they headed into a Security Council meeting where both countries have veto power.

The Russian draft resolution didn't name Turkey but it was clearly aimed at the Turkish government, which has threatened ground action and was keeping up its cross-border artillery shelling campaign Friday against U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia positions in Syria. It was noted that progress was made on humanitarian aid delivery to besieged areas in Syria.

The advance by the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance has angered Turkey, which fears the Kurds are trying to unite several Kurdish-majority regions in north and north-eastern Syria to create a contiguous zone on the border.

The White House says he also urged Turkey to show restraint.

Turkey has proposed military intervention in Syria to counter the threat posed to it by Kurdish groups and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

More than 260,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began, with half the population displaced, including over four million overseas.

Moscow asked Syrian President Bashar al Assad to follow 'Russian leadership to resolve the crisis in the country'.

"Russia has invested very seriously in this crisis, politically, diplomatically and now also militarily", Churkin said, adding that the Kremlin would like to see Assad to respond accordingly.

Assad believes that once the authorities have regained control of the whole of Syria's territory "the natural thing, first of all, is to form a government, a national unity government where every political party can join if they have the will".