The Syrian government warned Thursday that it would shoot down any Turkish jets carrying out strikes inside the country, following threats from Ankara to launch full-scale attacks on Kurdish areas in northern Syria.
Tensions have escalated after the U.S. military announced plans to turn its Syrian Kurdish allies in the war against Islamic State into a semiprofessional border force in northeastern Syria, which immediately sparked anger with North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally Turkey.
Turkey is massing troops and tanks on its southern border with Syria, and its president this week pledged to destroy the semiautonomous enclaves carved out by Kurdish fighters in Syria, beginning with the cities of Afrin and Manbij.
The Syrian regime said any Turkish military operation in the area of Afrin would be considered an act of aggression on the country’s sovereignty, which it would respond to.
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