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Syria Vows To Shoot Down Turkish Jets As Erdogan Orders Putin “Do Not Oppose” Assault

According to the Associated Press, this morning Syria said it would shoot down any Turkish jets carrying out attacks inside Syria. This comes as preparations continue for an imminent large-scale Turkish attack of Kurdish militia groups currently holding Afrin near the Turkish border.

Multiple regional outlets have confirmed a build-up of forces that could constitute the largest external intervening force thus far in the entirety of the Syrian war, including special forces troops, Army units, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and Turkey’s air force.

In response to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowing military action to “destroy all terror nests” in Syria – a reference to the US-backed YPG (which makes up the core of the SDF) which holds vast territory along Turkey’s border spanning into northeast Syria – the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad told reporters Thursday that Syrian defense systems have regained full operational power and stand ready to destroy Turkish air targets in Syrian airspace should Afrin be attacked. Mekdad also stated that Damascus would consider any Turkish attack on Afrin an act of aggression.

Image source: Mursel Coban/Depo Photos via AP

Sporadic fighting and shelling has already occurred according to reports from the region. Though Turkish shelling of Kurdish positions along the border is nothing new in the conflict, should Turkey mobilize its air force in support of ground forces this would mark a dramatic escalation, especially given that both Russia and the US operate over Northern Syria, with Russia controlling the airspace over Afrin Canton and Idlib.

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