US, other foreign forces must leave Syria, respect its sovereignty: Iran

Press TV – Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations says the US must end its illegal occupation of Syria and stop shielding terrorist groups under the mask of fighting terrorism.

Majid Takht Ravanchi made the remarks in a Monday address to a virtual meeting of United Nations Security Council dubbed “Middle East: Syria – Political”.

“Sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria must be fully respected by all, and accordingly, all foreign forces whose presence is not permitted by the Syrian Government must leave the Syrian territory,” the Iranian diplomat said.

“In this regard, the living example is the occupation of certain parts of Syria by the US forces who continue to support and shield terrorist groups under the mask of combatting terrorism,” he went on to say.

He further rejected any separatist agendas as well as “any and all attempts to create new realities on the ground, including through illegitimate self-rule initiatives.”

Takht Ravanchi slammed the “illegal” occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights by Israel, and said the recognition by the US of its annexation to Israel is null and void.

“Condemning such unlawful irresponsible act, we stress that Golan is and will remain a part and parcel of the Syrian territory,” he added.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community. However, in a highly provocative move on March 25 last year US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s “sovereignty” over the Syrian territory.

Damascus strongly condemned the move and called it a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Syria.

Since the onset of the occupation, Tel Aviv has been building dozens of settlements in the region and has used it to carry out a number of military operations against the Arab country.

In his Monday speech, Takht Ravanchi also condemned Israel’s aggressions against Syria as a “gross violation of international law and the UN Charter”, stressing that the Syrian Government has a sovereign right to decide how and when to exercise its inherent right to individual or collective self-defense.

“Such aggressions must come to an end,” he urged.

Israel frequently attacks military targets inside Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up foreign-backed Takfiri terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.

The Damascus government has several times complained to the UN about Israel’s illegal strikes on Syria.