Syria condemns US delegation's illegal visit to Northeastern Syria
The United States sends another delegation to northeastern Syria in violation of the country's sovereignty and state integrity.
In a strongly worded statement released on Friday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry denounced the recent visit of a United States delegation, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ethan Goldrich, to northeast Syria as a blatant violation of the nation's sovereignty and international legal norms.
The delegation's visit, stirred controversy as it aimed to engage with various stakeholders, many of whom are terrorists or affiliated with terrorist organizations, amidst escalating tensions in the northeastern part of the country.
The bipartisan delegation of US Congress members went to Turkish-occupied areas of northern Syria in a controversial endeavor in late August.
Representatives from Kurdish forces, the Syrian opposition, and local Arab tribes were among those who met with the American officials during their visit.
"The recent illegal entry of the American delegation led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ethan Goldrich into northeast Syria and its meetings with separatist groups constitute a gross violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and the principles of international law and UN Security Council resolutions on Syria," the Syrian Foreign Ministry asserted.
The Syrian government's assertion of a breach of sovereignty aligns with its long-standing stance on foreign interference in its internal affairs as the United States continues to breach international law when it comes to Syria.
The delegation, consisting of Joe Wilson, Victoria Spartz, and Dean Phillips, entered Syria from Turkey through the illegal Bab Al-Salama border crossing.
Welcomed by a banner bearing the words "Welcome to Free Syria" and the flags of the US-backed "Free Syrian Army", the Congress members represent another attempt by the US to undermine Syria and its government.
The delegation's trip was cut short due to security concerns, as disclosed by an escort member. Notably, the territories controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked terror group Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) were not explored during the visit.
The White Helmets, a US-backed organization famous for its ties with terrorist groups such as HTS, posted on X that the organization's head, Raed Al Saleh, met with the US delegation.
Director of the White Helmets, Raed Al Saleh @RaedAlSaleh3, met with a delegation from the US Congress 🇺🇲 during their visit to northwestern #Syria on Sunday, August 27.— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) August 27, 2023
They discussed the political situation and the popular movement taking place in the Syrian regions, the… pic.twitter.com/aVSoPhTyT9
Last month, a United Nations initiative to extend this aid mechanism failed to garner consensus within the Security Council. Nevertheless, the UN recently announced that aid deliveries would recommence through Bab Al-Hawa.
These territories encompass substantial sections of Idlib province, as well as neighboring regions in Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia provinces.
The United States is exploring sending supplies through the Bab Al-Salama crossing rather than the HTS-controlled, also illegal, Bab Al-Hawa border crossing.
International aid such as food, water, and medicine, has been going into Syria via Turkey through the Bab Al-Hawa crossing. Last month, a United Nations initiative to extend this aid mechanism failed to garner consensus within the Security Council. Nevertheless, the UN recently announced that aid deliveries would recommence through Bab Al-Hawa.
The situation in eastern Syrian regions and towns has been marked by a growing sense of popular tribal resentment against the practices of the US military and the pro-US SDF, who have been accused of engaging in oil and gas theft, obstructing education, and imposing forced recruitment.
It was reported that villagers in Al-Hasakah with the support of Syrian soldiers stationed at a local checkpoint managed Saturday to stop a US convoy from entering their village by forming a human barrier.