Hundreds of Syrians Protest Presence of Turkish Forces in Aleppo

Hundreds of Syrians Protest Presence of Turkish Forces in Aleppo

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Aleppo, Syria on Saturday, to decry the presence of Turkish occupation forces in their country.

According to Syria's official news agency, SANA, protesters gathered in the heart of Aleppo's provincial capital, Saadallah al-Jabiri Square, expressing strong opposition to the deployment of Turkish forces and their allied Takfiri militants in their area.

Participants held Syrian national flags and denounced Turkish soldiers and their supporters for attacks on civilian infrastructure and residential buildings, calling for their removal from Syria.

A similar rally was also held in the city of Tell Rifaat, located roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Aleppo, where participants lashed out at crimes being perpetrated by Turkish forces and their Takfiri mercenaries against Syrian civilians.

They underscored Syria’s territorial integrity, and stressed the need to confront attempts aimed at occupation and fragmentation of Syrian lands.

The demonstrators also voiced their support for Syrian government forces’ battle to purge Syrian soil from foreign-sponsored terrorist groups.

The demonstrations come amid the Turkish government’s call for the establishment of a so-called safe zone in the occupied northern part of Syria.

Following a cabinet meeting on May 23, Turkish President Recep Tayyeb Erdogan said Ankara aims to resume its efforts to create a 30-kilometer “safe zone” along its border with Syria.

“We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30-kilometer deep safe zone we established along our southern border," Erdogan said.

The Turkish president did not provide further details, but said the operation would begin after Turkey’s military, intelligence and security forces completed their preparations.

Last week, he told lawmakers from his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in parliament that "we have such a sensitivity as protecting our borders from attacks by terrorist organizations."

He has also urged NATO member states to support his country's efforts to establish a safe zone on the border with Syria.

Turkey has deployed forces in Syria in violation of the Arab country's territorial integrity.

Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria in October 2019 after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) 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 Kurdish-led administration in northeastern Syria says the Turkish offensive has killed hundreds of civilians, including dozens of children since it started.

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