NEW DELHI: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops have now entered towns in the north east, near the Turkish border, after years.This after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reversed their alignment from the U.S. to the Iranian and Russian backed Syrian Government. Speaking to SNI’s Associate Editor Amitabh P Revi, Syria’s Ambassador to India Dr Riad Kamel Abbas gives his country’s position on the Turkish invasion, the U.S. pullout and what it means for 13,000 suspected Daesh/ISIS members held in the area of the offensive, India’s stand on the issue and European, Arab and other reactions to the developments.
Turkey views the Syrian Kurdish militias as terrorists and has hinted at broadening the offensive despite U.S. President Donald Trump threatening big sanctions. He has also ordered the withdrawal of all 1,000 U.S. troops imminently though its uncertain if they will be just relocated to safer areas post a Turkish attack close to U.S. positions. Reports of Daesh members escaping prisons and the UN warning of a civilian catastrophe complicate the issue more. The UN says 160,000 people are on the move and that will rise further. Turkey’s President Recip Tayyip Erdoğan has said his aim is to create a buffer area over 400 km wide and 30 km deep in Syria and send back between one and two million Syrian refugees. Questions also remain as to what level of confrontation, if any, Syrian troops, the Russian air force or Iranian militia could get into with Turkish forces.