Syria: Presence of foreign troops is overt aggression

Damascus says French and German special forces are active in its territory but Germany's defence ministry rejects claim.

    Syrian Kurdish forces have regained swaths of territory from ISIL in recent months [Reuters/Rodi Said]
    Syrian Kurdish forces have regained swaths of territory from ISIL in recent months [Reuters/Rodi Said]

    The Syrian government has accused Germany and France of "blatant interference" in its affairs by allegedly deploying special forces in its territory.

    The German defence ministry immediately issued a rebuke of the Syrian claim on Tuesday, denying its troops were in the country.

    "There are no German special forces in Syria. The accusation is false," a ministry spokesman said

    An earlier report carried by the state-owned Syrian Arab News Agency said French and German troops were operating in the "Ain al-Arab and Manbij areas".

    Officials at the Syrian foreign ministry called the presence an "overt unjustified aggression" on Syria, according to the report.

    Kurdish offensive

    Ain al-Arab, which is also known as Kobane, and Manbij are territories controlled by Syrian Kurdish factions, who are allied to Western states.

    Kurdish groups are involved in an offensive against territories held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in northeastern Syria.

    The fighters are backed by US-coalition air strikes and special forces advisers from the United States and allegedly France and other Western countries.

    Both France and Germany have soldiers in neighbouring Iraq training Kurdish Peshmerga forces to take on ISIL in that country.

    After its initial advances in the summer of 2014, ISIL is struggling to hold on to its gains under bombardment from the coalition and having to fend off rival armies and factions on multiple fronts.

    Kurdish-led force advances on Syria's Manbij

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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