Ignoring Turkish threats, pro-regime fighters enter Syrian Kurdish enclave

BEIRUT — Pro-government Syrian fighters start entering the northern Kurdish enclave of Afrin where Turkish troops have been on the offensive for a month.

Syrian state TV shows about 20 vehicles with heavy machine guns mounted on them entering Afrin from the nearby village of Nubul.

Scores of gunmen are on the vehicles waving Syrian flags and chanting pro-government slogans.

There is no immediate comment about the deployment from Kurdish officials.

Tuesday’s deployment comes a day after Turkey warned the Syrian government against entering the Kurdish-controlled enclave where a major Turkish military offensive is underway, saying it would hit back at the troops if their goal is to protect the Kurdish fighters.

The deployment comes hours after Turkish media reported that Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition forces have linked a swathe of land in the Afrin enclave to the Turkish-held Syrian city of Azaz.

— AP

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