Turkey warns Syrian forces entering Afrin face serious consequences

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkey is not in direct talks with the Syrian government, but its messages are being indirectly conveyed to Damascus, President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Wednesday.

During a media briefing in capital Ankara, Kalin dismissed opposition to the operation in Afrin. Ankara says the YPG is a terrorist group and an extension of the PKK which has fought a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey.

He denied making any official contact with the Syrian regime, adding: "But under extraordinary conditions our intelligence unit may contact [Syrian regime] to solve certain issues, directly or indirectly".

"Any step for the benefit of the PYD/PKK in Afrin will be counted as a terrorist act and those responsible will be a legitimate target", Kalin said during a news conference on Wednesday, as cited by the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

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On Jan. 20, the Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Free Syrian Army, launched the Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria. The Turkish General Staff said the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and in the region.

Kalin added that Turkey operates in Syria within the global law, protecting its borders from terrorists.

Hedu said the Turkish military has destroyed infrastructure, structures of vital importance, schools, historic monuments, more than a hundred civilians have been killed, including children.


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