Syria warns Turkey's AKP government against Afrin attack

Syria warned Turkish AKP government against launching a military operation in Syria's northwestern region of Afrin and said that Syrian air defences stood ready to defend against such an attack
Thursday, 18 January 2018 16:14

The Syrian Armed Forces will respond to any actions taken by the Turkish army in the Afrin region, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told reporters Thursday.

He said Turkey's military activities in Afrin would be perceived as aggression against Syria's sovereignty.

"We warn the Turkish leadership that if they initiate combat operations in the Afrin area, that will be considered an act of aggression by the Turkish army," Mekdad said in a statement carried by the state media.

The warning comes as tensions are skyrocketing over apparent Turkish preparations to attack a Kurdish enclave in the north of the country.

"The Syrian air defences have restored their full force and they are ready to destroy Turkish aviation targets in Syrian Arab Republic skies," he said. "The presence of any Turkish forces on Syrian lands is "totally rejected", Mekdad added. He said that military action by Ankara would complicate its role as a party to diplomatic efforts and put it on "the same level as the terrorist groups".