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Assad adviser says Turkish, U.S. forces 'illegal invaders' in Syria

Assad adviser says Turkish, U.S. forces 'illegal invaders' in Syria
From Reuters - November 7, 2017

BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S. and Turkish troops are illegal invader forces on Syrian territory and Syria will deal with them, a top adviser to President Bashar al-Assad said on Tuesday.

Bouthaina Shaaban also said in a television interview that Damascus would not give up on the northern city of Raqqa, which was liberated from Islamic State last month by the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Turkey today is a colonizer country, its forces on our soil are illegal, just as the American forces are on our soilillegally, she told Lebanese channel al-Mayadeen.

We will deal with this issue as we deal with any illegal invader force on our lands, she said, without elaborating.

Assads forces, helped by Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, have managed to reestablish control over most of Syria over the past two years.

The United States and Turkey are backing various rebel groups opposed to both Assad and to Islamic State. Turkey has started setting up observation points in Idlib province in northwest Syria under a deal with Assads allies, Russia and Iran.

The U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State in Syria has repeatedly said it does not seek to fight Assads forces, though Washington and Ankara both want the president to step down.

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