Damascus condemns Turkey’s operation in Syria

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Syria’s Foreign Ministry has condemned Turkey’s military operation against a Syrian town held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) near its border, aided by aircraft from a U.S.-led coalition, as a breach of its sovereignty, Syrian state television has reported.

The foreign ministry said it condemned the crossing of the Turkey-Syria border by Turkish tanks and armored vehicles towards the Syrian town of Jarablus and considered it a “flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty.”

“Syria demands the end of this aggression. Any party conducting a battle against terrorism on Syrian soil must do so in coordination with the Syrian government and the Syrian army, who have been fighting this war for five years,” the foreign ministry said.

In sharp contrast, the Istanbul-based opposition National Coalition hailed the Turkish intervention and stressed that rebel forces were doing the fighting on the ground.

Germany also said it supported Turkey’s operation. Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told reporters the offensive was “in keeping with the goals and aims of the anti-ISIL coalition.”

He added that Berlin would not condemn Ankara’s action against the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

“Turkey, rightly or wrongly, believes that there are links between the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party], which we see as a terror organization, on the Turkish side and elements among the Kurds on the Syrian side,” Schaefer said.

“We respect that and think that Turkey has the legitimate right to take action against these terrorist activities. Hence we support Turkey on this,” he added.

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