Damascus (AFP) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Thursday his forces will counter Turkey's invasion by "all legitimate means", in his first remarks since deploying troops near the border to support Ankara's Kurdish rivals.
We "will respond to it and confront it, in all its forms, anywhere in Syria, using all legitimate means at our disposal," Assad told Iraqi national security adviser Faleh al-Fayad on the ninth day of Turkey's assault against Kurdish forces.
Since Turkey's invasion of northeast Syria started on October 9, dozens of civilians have been killed and 300,000 have been displaced, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Damascus on Sunday clinched a deal with Kurdish forces that saw Syrian army troops deploying in parts of the Kurdish-run northeast, including the key areas of Manbij and Kobane.
The deployment is the most significant by the army since it began a large-scale pullout from the region in 2012.