The Syrian government accused Turkey of "expansionist ambitions" for its agreement with the US for a security zone in the northeast of the country. The move was a serious escalation and violated the sovereignty of Syria, wrote the Foreign Ministry in Damascus.

The day before, the US and Turkey had agreed, according to Turkish sources, to set up a coordination center to create the security zone. This could avoid a Turkish invasion of this part of Syria for the time being. Turkey wants to expel the Kurdish YPG militia, which it classifies as a terrorist organization, from the area. The militia is considered an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK. It made the biggest contribution to the victory over the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) on Syrian soil there.

Damascus gave the Syrian-Kurdish groups "historical responsibility" for the agreement between the US and Turkey and called on them to "give up this aggressive US-Turkish project" and instead join the Syrian government.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense, the buffer zone is also intended to ensure the return of refugees from Turkey back to Syria. 3.6 million Syrian refugees are currently living in Turkey.