Syria to shoot down Turkish warplanes in violation of its airspace: officials
DAMASCUS: Damascus on Saturday denied Turkey had informed it of its planned military operation against Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave in the war-ravaged country´s north.
"Syria completely denies claims by the Turkish regime that it was informed of this military operation," a foreign ministry source told state news agency SANA.
"Syria strongly condemns the brutal Turkish aggression on Afrin, which is an inseparable part of Syrian territory."
Turkey on Saturday launched a new air and ground operation aimed at ousting the powerful Kurdish People´s Protection Units (YPG) from the Afrin region.
Ankara vehemently opposes the YPG because of its links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey for three decades.
In comments to media, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his government was informing the Syrian government "in writing" about the Afrin assault.
On Thursday, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad warned that Syria's air force could destroy any Turkish warplanes used in the new offensive.