“Syria continues to fight terrorism in tandem with continued efforts to [reach] a settlement of the political crisis based on a Syrian-Syrian dialogue and without foreign interference,” Mekdad said in a speech at the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the Azerbaijani capital city of Baku on Saturday.
He highlighted that Turkey’s repeated attacks on Syrian territory and its continued attempts to establish a so-called “safe area” in northern Syria, together with direct aggression against the Syrian soil by the US-led coalition were all unilateral acts, vehemently rejected and condemned by the Damascus government, Presstv Reported.
Mekdad said such measures constituted a violation of the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions, which demand respect for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria.
“One of the most dangerous threats facing the world today is the spread of terrorism both at regional and international levels. The menace is being supported, financed, armed and justified by certain governments and states, which are known to all,” the Syrian deputy foreign minister pointed out.
Mekdad said crimes committed by members of Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, Takfiri terrorist groups as well as their proxies clearly pointed to the gravity of terrorism.
“The United States and some European Union countries overlook the fight against terrorism, and adopt a selective approach vis-à-vis the issue. This proves that they have no political will to eradicate it,” the top Syrian diplomat added, calling for practical deterrent measures to account the countries that support and finance terrorism.
“Syria is determined to liberate every inch of its land from terrorism and from any illegal foreign presence,” Mekdad said.
He added that the first beneficiary of the ongoing conflicts in Syria and the Middle East region is the Israeli regime, which continues to commit crimes against those under occupation and launch attacks on Syria and other countries.
Mekdad stressed that the ongoing Syrian crisis and repeated acts of aggression against the Syrian soil will fail to force the Damascus government to forgo its inalienable right to fully restore the occupied Golan Heights by all means guaranteed by international law and in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, especially resolutions 242, 338 and 497.
He emphasized that US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory will not change the legal status of the region, as “it is part of the Syrian Arab land and will return to the Syrian national sovereignty sooner or later.”
On March 25, Trump signed a proclamation, formally recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The announcement came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House.
The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement at the time, called the US decision a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Syria.
“The liberation of the Golan by all available means and its return to the Syrian motherland is an inalienable right,” according to the statement carried by Syria’s official news agency SANA, which added, “The decision ... makes the United States the main enemy of the Arabs.”
The Arab League condemned the move, saying "Trump's recognition does not change the area's status."
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community. The regime has built dozens of settlements in the area ever since and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.
Syrian government forces deployed in 8 northern villages
Separately, Syrian government forces have been deployed in eight villages of Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah in the wake of Turkey’s cross-border offensive, dubbed Peace Spring Operation, and crimes being perpetrated by Turkish-backed militants against ordinary people.
SANA reported that Syrian army units set up posts in the villages, including Aziziyah, al-Dawoudiyah, Dhahra, al- Qamsiyah and al-Rashidiyah, close to the border town of Ra’s al-Ayn on Saturday.
On Tuesday evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding, stating that Kurdish militants from the People's Protection Units (YPG) must withdraw from the Turkish-ruled "safe zone" in northeast Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow will run joint patrols around the area.
The announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.
On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeast Syria in a declared attempt to push YPG militants away from border areas.
Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG constitutes the backbone of the Kurdish-dominated do-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).