Syrian government fighters enter Kurdish enclave amid Turkish threats

President of the Syria Negotiation Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, speaks during a media conference in Brussels on Tuesday, Feb. 20. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Pro-government Syrian fighters have entered the northern Kurdish enclave of Afrin, where Turkish troops have been on the offensive for a month.

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

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

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

The move came 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 if the Syrian troops' goal is to protect the Kurdish fighters.

Reports earlier said Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition forces had linked a swathe of land in the Afrin enclave to the Turkish-held Syrian city of Azaz.

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