Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed during an interview with RT that his country will resist any new invasion by Turkey.
In the interview, that was announced on June 9, Assad said that any new Turkish invasion will be met with “official” and “popular” resistance. The president went on to hit that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) could take direct action against the Turkish military.
“Two and a half years ago, a clash occurred between the Syrian and Turkish armies, and the SAA was able to destroy some Turkish targets that entered Syrian territory, and the situation will be the same according to what the military capabilities allow,” Assad said, referring to the 2020 Greater Idlib battle. “Aside from this, there will be popular resistance”.
In May, the Turkish military and its proxies began preparing to launch a new operation against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern and northeastern Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country wants to complete the creation of a 30-kilometer “safe zone” on the Syrian side of the border.
The remarks of the Syrian president were not surprising. The SAA has been deploying reinforcements in SDF-held areas for a few weeks now.
On June 8, the SAA deployed large reinforcements, including heavy weapons, in the towns of Tell Rifaat and Manbij in the northern Aleppo countryside as well as in the town of al-Qamishli in the northern countryside of al-Hasakah, according to al-Mayadeen TV. Very recently, president Erdogan named Tell Rifaat and Manbij as the main targets of any new Turkish operation in Syria.
The SDF appears to be open to the idea of cooperating with the SAA in case of a new Turkish invasion. On June 7, the leadership of the group they would coordinate with the government troops to fend off any invasion of the northern and northeastern region.
Russia, Syria’s top ally, has been taking septs to discourage Turkey from launching a new invasion into Syria. In the recent weeks, the Russian military deployed fighter jets, attack helicopters and air-defense systems in SDF-held in northeastern Syria.
The tough stand of president Assad indicate that the Turkish military will find itself in a confrontation not only with the SDF, but also with the SAA, if Ankara launched a new invasion into Syria.