Syria: Protesters demand withdrawal of US and Turkish forces from country at Qamishli demo

Protesters gathered in Qamishli, northeastern Syria, on Wednesday, to call for the withdrawal of US and Turkish forces from Syrian territory and the lifting of economic sanctions imposed by the so-called Caesar Act. Signs both in support of President Bashar al-Assad and against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could be seen in the rally in front of the Arab Cultural Centre, as well as people burning and desecrating Turkish and American flags. «Today, we stand against Caesar Act and against the American occupation and the Turkish occupation, which caused the starvation to the Syrian people. We stand, young and old, men [and women] and all the Syrian people, against the arrogant occupier which looted the oil, the grains, the factories and all the resources in Syria. God willing, this will end,» a protester said. The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, which took effect in mid-June to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, gives the US administration permission to freeze assets in an attempt to dissuade anyone from doing any foreign business activity with the current Syrian administration. A reduced number of American forces have remained in Syria to allegedly protect Kurdish-controlled oil fields from falling into the hands of the Islamic State. The Turkish forces are in the region to, according to a recent statement by President Erdogan, «safeguard Syria's political unity and territorial integrity, restore peace on the ground and find a lasting political solution to the conflict.» The conflict in Syria has killed thousands and displaced millions of people since it started in May 2011.

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