Syria to shoot down Turkish warplanes in violation of its airspace: officials

Syria to shoot down Turkish warplanes in violation of its airspace: officials
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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.

The assault, the source said, "is the latest move in Turkey 's attacks on Syria 's sovereignty".

"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.

Afrin is a YPG-controlled enclave that juts out from Syria 's Aleppo province and operates as an autonomous area, outside the control of Syria 's government.

The regime has spoken out against the YPG's autonomous rule but has also lambasted Turkey 's operations in Syria .

On Thursday, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad warned that Syria 's air force could destroy any Turkish warplanes used in the new offensive.

Middle East