Turkey Opens Fire on Regime Forces In Afrin

Turkey warns Syrian regime forces will face 'serious consequences' upon entering Afrin region

Turning to a question about Turkey's ongoing military operation in Syria, Nauert emphasized that the U.S.is not equipping anyone in Afrin and US forces are not operating there.

Turkish leaders say they want to clear the Kurdish enclave of members of the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, which they consider a terrorist group.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the Afrin crisis could be resolved through direct negotiations between Damascus and Ankara.

Previously, the War Information Office of the Hizbullah organization reported that Syrian troops, mostly integrated by local units of the National Defense Forces, from the northern city of Aleppo, entered Afrin through the crossing of Al -Ziyara, north of the city of Nublu. Currently, the PKK advocates for democratic confederalism within Turkey. The forces are set to reinforce the Kurdish fighters against the Turkish army. "It doesn't matter who makes such an attempt, there will be serious consequences". Only after an artillery barrage they turned around and left.

But a YPG official and a pro-Assad military commander denied similar Turkish statements on Tuesday night.

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A new confrontation, pitting the Turkish army directly against pro-Assad forces, would further scramble the web of alliances and rivalries already at play in northern Syria. He stressed that if the Syrian forces entered Afrin to protect the YPG, "no one would be able to stop the Turkish forces".

Speaking at a joint news conference alongside his Macedonian counterpart Gjorge Ivanov in Ankara, Erdogan said there was a movement towards Afrin by Shia militias which were interrupted after they were shelled.

"Any step by the (Syrian) regime or other elements in this direction will surely have serious consequences", Ibrahim Kalin, President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Reuters reports Turkish forces have reached several kilometers into Syria, but the YPG still holds most of Afrin including its central town.

The Turkish government claims that the YPG is an offshoot of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which has mounted a rebellion against the state in mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey for more than 30 years.

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