Tensions Soar as Syria Decries Open-Ended US Military Presence ‘Act of Aggression’

Tensions rise in Syria as Turkey threatens invasion, Damascus vows to “shoot down” planes if attacked, and Secretary Tillerson lays out troubling plan for permanent U.S. engagement.

(COMMONDREAMS) — As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid out the Trump administration’s plans for the “open-ended” presence of U.S. military in their country, the Syrian government of President Bashar Al-Assad on Thursday decried the ongoing presence of U.S. soldiers in the country as a form of “aggression” which would not be tolerated.

The Syrians voiced their objections to the U.S. military’s continued activities inside its territory—with the number of American soldier’s believed to be around 2,000—with a statement from the Foreign Ministry which stated that the “American military presence on Syrian land is illegitimate and represents a blatant breach of international law and an aggression against national sovereignty.”

The statement emerged after Tillerson on Wednesday, at a forum hosted by the right-wing Hoover Institute at Stanford University, argued that removing U.S. forces from inside Syria would only serve to “restore” Assad’s grip on the country and “provide Iran the opportunity to further strengthen its position in Syria.”

Meanwhile, tensions are intensifying along Syria’s border with Turkey this week after the Turkish government threatened to launch a cross-border incursion to fight Syrian-Kurdish fighters, specifically the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)—backed by the U.S. and dominated by the Kurdish YPG.

That threat came straight from Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and came in response to the Trump administration putting forth a plan to arm and train a 30,000-member military force inside the Kurdish-dominated border region in north-western Syria.

“A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders,” Erdoğan said in a speech on Monday, referring to the U.S. plan. “What can that terror army target but Turkey? Our mission is to strangle it before it’s even born.”

In his remarks on Wednesday, Tillerson did his best to tamp down Turkish concerns.

“That entire situation has been misportrayed, misdescribed, some people misspoke,” Tillerson said. “We are not creating a border security force at all.”

Despite those efforts, however, Turkish officials have repeated their threat to invade while Syria vowed to use the” same determination” to free its territory of any “illegitimate foreign presence” as it has to fight members of the Islamic State and other jihadists groups.

Regarding the threat of a Turkish invasion, Syria responded by saying it was prepared to “shoot down” Turkish warplanes and defend its territory from any attack.

By Jon Queally / Creative Commons / Common Dreams / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

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  • Joyce Gaynor

    The U.S. should leave Syria. Syria is a sovereign nation, and has asked the United States to leave. Our continued presence in Syria can be considered an act of war against the Syrian government. Such a war is only legal if initiated by Syria or sanctioned by the United Nations. Time for United States troops to say goodbye and get out quickly (safely of course, but with all reasonable haste).


  • Sandra Almoukamal

    What about the syrian people who started the revolution ? Oh ya fuck them. All those fucking countries fighting in Syria and still no one sees it as a WW3.

    Show 1 Replies
    • Joan C

      You know there’s been studies, that have shown, that people who can’t talk without cussing, have a lower IQ, than people who can talk normally, without doing that?


  • James Park

    WHITE COLLAR DRAFT DODGERS TRUMP TILLERSON HAVEN,T GOT THE BOTTLE TO GO IN TO THE ARMY A FAKE MEDICAL CERTIFICATE & A BOY SCOUT BOTH HAVE NO ARMY TRAINING BOTH IN BOTTLE MERCHANTS BUT THE BOTH WILL SEND EVERY ONE ELSE TO WAR


  • helm hurst

    Typical, make as much shit as possible for as long as possible.
    It’s all good, the old orange POTUS is making $$$$$$$$$$$$$ a plenty……for himself and a very few others.


  • Show 1 Replies