In a statement released early on April 27, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) stressed that it is fully ready to repel any “aggression” by Turkey on Syrian territory.
“With the intensification of the provocations practiced by the Turkish regime on the Syrian territories during the past two days and the attacks on different areas and a number of our armed forces’ sites, we affirm that our brave army is ready to confront any possible aggression by this regime and its terrorist organizations,” an unnamed military source told the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.
Most of the Turkish attacks targeted areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern and northeastern Syria. Recently, the SAA expanded its presence in these areas. The Turkish military and its proxies have been preparing to launch a new operation against the Kurdish-led group since May.
The SAA’s statement came just a few hours after an artillery strike that targeted a base of the Turkish military near the town of Kaljibrin in the northern countryside of Syria’s Aleppo. The strike claimed the lives of two Turkish service members and wounded several others.
No side has claimed responsibility for the deadly artillery strike, yet. Nevertheless, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the core faction of the SDF, and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, who enjoys strong influence within the group, were both blamed by the Turkish Ministry of National Defense.
The SAA’s statement is in line with recent remarks by the Commander-in-Chief of the SDF, who warned Turkey that its forces and proxies will not be facing his group only but also the army if they launch a new military operation in northern and northeastern Syria.
The unusual statement could be a sign that the Turkish operation against the SDF is nearing. Ankara gave Damascus “heads up” in the past before launching similar operations. This time, the SAA appears to be determined to provide the SDF with serious support.
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