Syria showed discontent of a U.S. and Turkish military joint effort patrolling northern Syria on Sunday, saying their presence violates the country’s sovereignty, according to Reuters.
Turkish and U.S. militaries merged forces to safeguard a border area controlled by Kurdish forces and establish a “safe zone” in the northern Syria region to reintegrate some refugees who are currently residing in Turkey. The two countries have been working together to divert confrontation between Turkey and the U.S.-backed Kurdish military. (RELATED: Russia Gives Missiles To Turkey Despite Months Of US Attempts To Stop The Move)
In a statement, the Syrian foreign minister said the joint effort was an infringement of “territorial integrity” of Syria and is an attempt for the Kurdish YPG militia, backed by the U.S., to divide the country, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Syrian Refugee Arrested In Plot To Blow Up Pittsburgh Church In the Name Of ISIS)
Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu weighed in on his country’s latest move, saying, “Our geography is an advantage, but we are at a disadvantage in terms of migration and terror.”
Turkey perceives the Kurdish forces, called the People’s Protection Units (YPG), to be a risk and there have been clashes between Turkey and the Kurdish insurgent groups for decades. Turkey has been threatening the Kurdish people who are ultimately seeking territorial separation from Turkey to institute an independent Kurdistan, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.