On 30 October, Syria’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement strongly condemning the decision of the Turkish parliament to extend its military presence in Iraq and Syria for two further years.
An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement to SANA on Saturday that the policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have become a direct threat to peace and security in both the region and the world.
Turkey has been continuing its occupation and military attacks on Syrian territories, in blatant violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions related to Syria.
The ministry also said that Syria reserves its absolute right, based on the UN Charter and international law, to defend its independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty over all of its land, and take all practical and legal measures guaranteed by international legitimacy in order to repel the Turkish aggression.
Damascus also called on the global community to hold Turkey accountable for the war crimes and atrocities it has committed against and within Syria.
On 26 October, the Turkish parliament voted to extend a military mandate that allows Ankara to carry out military operations in Iraq and Syria until 30 October 2023.
According to Ankara, this mandate will allow them to confront the presence of paramilitary groups in Iraq and Syria, as Erdogan has claimed that the presence of armed groups in the besieged nations will create a “terrorist corridor.”
A 24 October 2019 press release from the UNSC stated that “Turkey’s military operation has displaced thousands of civilians and worsened Syria’s dire humanitarian crisis.”
“The latest surge in hostilities in north-east Syria compounds an already dire humanitarian situation,” said Ursula Mueller, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, voicing concerns about the rapidly unfolding disaster on the ground.
According to the UN Charter, invoking a ‘self-defense’ clause cannot be used to invade another country.
Turkey has occupied large swathes of northern Syria, encompassing over 1000 settlements, including towns such as Tal Abyad, Azaz, and Afrin, in clear violation of the UN Charter.