The Syrian government on Jan. 18 warned Turkey against launching a military operation in the northwestern region of Afrin, vowing that Syrian air defenses stood ready to defend against such an “act of aggression.”
“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,” Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad said in comments reported by state media.
Syrian forces stand ready to take out any Turkish targets within the Syrian airfield, SANA reported, citing the deputy minister.
“Syria will confront any Turkish aggression or military action against its territory with appropriate response,” Meqdad told reporters in a press briefing.
Any Turkish military operation into the Syrian borders will be considered as an attempt to attack and violate territorial integrity, Meqdad was quoted as saying.
“If Turkish Air Forces aim to violate the Syrian air field or attack Syria, they should refrain from thinking they are out on a tour,” he reportedly said.
Turkey’s Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, meanwhile, said on Jan. 18 that steps by Turkey “for protecting its own national security in Afrin, Manbij, Jarabulus or in other places [in Syria] are definitely not a move against Syrian Kurds.”