Syrian forces clashed with Turkish forces and pro-Syrian factions near the city of Manbij, for the first time since the Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria, and Syrian forces entered the city of Ain al-Arab (Kobani), under an agreement with the Kurdish self-administration in the face of the Turkish attack, the Syrian Foreign Minister confirmed, Walid al-Moallem said that the Syrian government is determined to confront the Turkish operation in northern Syria by all means, and stressed that the behavior of Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "shows his expansionist ambitions, and can not be justified under any pretext."
In detail, clashes erupted yesterday between the Syrian army and Kurdish forces on the one hand, and the pro-Turkish fighting factions on the other, in northern Syria, where Ankara launched an attack on its border a week ago against the Kurdish areas, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Kurdish forces have called on the army to deploy in areas in northern Syria, including Manbij and Ain Issa, to counter a military attack by Ankara against their areas.
Confrontations between the Turkish and Syrian armies in northern Syria appear to be inevitable, with Turkish troops advancing and Syrian troops deployed in the area that Kurdish fighters had until recently controlled.
Moscow, the most prominent ally of Damascus, said by Russian special envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiyev, the day before yesterday, that Russia will not allow confrontations between the Turkish and Syrian armies.
"I think that such confrontations will be unacceptable and do not benefit anyone," he said. Therefore, we will not allow things to go that far.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday that his country would seek an agreement between the Syrian government and Kurdish fighters following the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria.
Speaking at the Russian-African Economic Forum held in Sochi, Lavrov stressed that the dialogue between Damascus and the Kurds is achieving tangible results, according to the Russian Information Agency.
The agency noted that Lavrov called on the Syrian and Turkish armies to determine how to cooperate on the ground in northern Syria, stressing his country's readiness to help the parties to achieve this.
Lavrov said that ISIS operatives had fled their detention centers in northern Syria, and said that the Turkish operation allowed prisoners from the extremist organization to flee.
He added that Moscow would support security cooperation between Turkish and Syrian forces on the border between the two countries.
The first wounded Turkish troops in clashes erupted near Manbij Syria, and arrived with serious injuries to the crossing Qarqamsh near Jarablus.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that Syrian forces had taken control of an area of about 1000 square kilometers around Manbij, which Turkey had announced the seizure a few days ago.
The Interfax news agency quoted the Defense Ministry as saying that the Syrian army had taken control of the air base, two power stations and several bridges on the Euphrates River, according to Reuters.
Earlier, the official Syrian News Agency (SANA) announced that Syrian army units entered the city of Manbij in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo.
A leader of the Manbij military council, which controls the city, confirmed that the troops "entered the city and deployed on the front lines," according to «SANA».
It is noteworthy that Turkey began nearly a week ago to penetrate into northern Syria, targeting Kurdish militants, in an operation that has aroused widespread resentment and international condemnation.
According to Russian reports yesterday, Syrian forces were able to control military bases in northeastern Syria, which US forces left before the start of the Turkish military operation in northern Syria, according to «Interfax» quoted Russian television.
In Damascus, Walid al-Moallem stressed that the Syrian government is determined to confront the Turkish operation in northern Syria by all means. "The aggressive behavior of the Erdogan regime clearly demonstrates Turkish expansionist ambitions in Syrian territory, and this behavior cannot be justified under any pretext," al-Muallem said during a meeting with UN special envoy to Syria, Ger Pederson.
He pointed out that this «seriously threatens the work of the Committee to discuss the Constitution and the political process and prolong the life of the crisis in Syria», and stressed «Syria's determination to address the Turkish aggression by all legitimate means».
The two sides reaffirmed the "Syrian ownership of the work of the Commission, and the importance of the Syrians themselves leading their work without any external interference."
Pederson expressed the UN and Secretary-General's deep concern over the developments in northeastern Syria and the serious humanitarian consequences resulting from them, calling for an "immediate cessation of hostilities and to avoid acts that endanger civilians and undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria over all its territory, destabilize and jeopardize the efforts exerted". "On the political track of danger."
This comes at a time when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that "no force" can stop the military operation unlawfully launched by his forces on Syrian territory, calling on "all militants" to withdraw from the "safe area" in northern Syria.
Erdogan said yesterday: «The military operation will end when Turkey completes the establishment of the safe area from Manbij, even the border with Iraq».
He added: «The fastest solution to the Syrian issue, is that all the gunmen lay down their arms and withdraw outside the safe area in northern Syria, tonight».
Erdogan reiterated his intentions to rule out any talks with Syrian Kurdish forces, saying in a speech to parliament: «There are some leaders who are trying to mediate. "Never in the history of the Turkish Republic has the state been sitting at the same table with a terrorist organization."
In remarks he made earlier in response to US sanctions, Erdogan said his country was "not worried about US sanctions and would never comply with Washington's demand for a ceasefire in northern Syria."
He also considered that the entry of the Syrian army to the city of Manbij in northern Syria, a development "not very negative" for Ankara, as long as the control of this city is no longer in the hands of Kurdish units, according to «AFP».
"They are asking us to declare a ceasefire," Erdogan told reporters traveling with him on his return from Azerbaijan, the Hurriyet daily said. "We can never declare a ceasefire."
In the same context, the Anatolia news agency said yesterday that the authorities arrested 24 people for publishing «black propaganda» on social networking sites about the military operation carried out by Ankara in Syria.
Twenty-four of the 186 people arrested for criticizing the attack on social media were formally arrested and charged with "inciting public opinion to hatred and hostility" and "spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization," the agency said.