18:39 19/02/2018 World

Turkey warns it may hit Syrian troops in Kurdish enclave

Turkey threatened on Monday to hit back at Syrian pro-government troops if they deploy in an enclave in northern Syria to protect a Kurdish militia that Ankara is battling there, the Associated Press reports.

The warning by the Turkish foreign minister came shortly after Syrian state media said pro-government forces will begin entering the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin in the country's northwest "within hours," after reaching an agreement with the Kurdish militia in control of the region.

The official SANA news agency said the forces will deploy in Afrin to "bolster" local forces in confronting Turkish "aggression," suggesting the Syrian government and Kurdish fighters have struck a deal under which the government forces would help repel an ongoing Turkish offensive on the enclave.

Turkey's foreign minister promptly issued the warning, saying that his country is ready to battle Syrian government troops if they enter Afrin to protect the Kurdish fighters.

Speaking in the Jordanian capital of Amman, Mevlut Cavusoglu added that "if the regime is entering to protect the YPG, then no one can stop us, stop Turkey or the Turkish soldiers."

On the other hand, he said that Ankara would have no problem if Syrian government forces enter Afrin to clear the area from YPG fighters.

The announcements came as violence continued in Afrin.

Source Panorama.am
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