Syria demands immediate withdrawal of "illegal" foreign troops

Smoke raises in the Syrian village of Kafr Ain in the southern countryside of Idlib province after an airstrike

Syria Iran Agree to Continue Cooperation on Idlib on UNGA Sidelines- Damascus AFP 2018 Anas AL-DYAB

Al-Moallem said Syria welcomes reconstruction aid from any country not involved in "aggression" towards Syria, but those offering conditional assistance were "neither invited or welcome to help".

The Golan was captured by Israel in 1967 when it fought Egypt, Syria, and Jordan during the Six Day War.

"Today the situation on the ground is more stable and secure thanks to progress made in combating terrorism".

"He's saying the presence of Turkish soldiers in the northern part of the country, American and French soldiers in the eastern part of the country, providing assistance to the Kurds is unacceptable and if they don't pull out from those areas, then the Syrian army has all the legitimate authority to go ahead and liberate those areas", said Ahelbarra.

Syrian refugees gather as they prepare to leave Beirut, before their journey to their homes in Syria on 17 September 2018.

"We have called upon the worldwide community and humanitarian organizations to facilitate these returns", he said.

A Syrian rebel group said Sunday that it would not pull back its fighters from front-line positions in the contested northwestern province of Idlib, where Russian Federation and Turkey recently agreed to set up a demilitarized zone to avert an all-out offensive by Syrian regime forces. "They are politicizing what should be a purely humanitarian issue".

Moualem however stressed that the agreement had "clear deadlines" and expressed hope that military action will target jihadists including fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, who "will be eradicated".

More than 360,000 people have died and millions displaced from their homes since the regime responded to anti-Assad protests in 2011 with brutal repression. "We stress that the mandate of the committee is limited to reviewing the articles of the current constitution", the Syrian minister said.

Taking the stage to muted applause at the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting on Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister and foreign minister Walid al-Moallem slammed worldwide interference in Syria, denied Damascus' use of chemical weapons and accused the US-led coalition of war crimes.

Moualem said the foreign forces were on Syrian soil illegally, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, and "will be dealt with accordingly". He said Syria's battle is nearly over and the country will soon purge its territory from all terrorist groups, regardless of their names.

The United Nations, which cautiously backed the Russia-Turkey deal, had warned that an all-out assault on Idlib would trigger a humanitarian catastrophe and possibly one of the worst bloodbaths of Syria's seven-year war.

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