Turkey warns Syrian forces entering Afrin face serious consequences

Turkey warns Syrian forces entering Afrin face serious consequences

Turkey will not stop the Operation Olive Branch even if the so-called Syrian government forces enter Afrin, Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for the Turkish president, said February 21.

On Tuesday, militias that back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Afrin at the Kurds' invitation to help thwart the Turkish assault, and Turkey and its allies tried to force them back with artillery fire.

"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.

"Yesterday, we have already agreed on these issues in talks with [Vladimir] Putin and [Hassan] Rouhani", Erdogan said. Ankara recognizes these organizations as terrorists.

It opens the door to a further escalation in Syria's messy northern battlefront where Turkey, Syrian rebels, the army, Iran-linked militias backing the Damascus government, Kurdish fighters, Russian Federation and the United States are all present.

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"It is impossible to give them [any terrorist organization] a chance [in Afrin]".

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

According to the diplomat, Turkey's operation in Afrin is the blatant violation of Syria's sovereignty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on global law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

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