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Syrian army says will ‘bring down’ any Turkish war planes in its air space

The Syrian military said on Thursday that it would bring down any Turkish war planes entering Syrian air space, a response to air strikes carried out by Turkey overnight in northern Syria.

“Any attempt to once again breach Syrian airspace by Turkish war planes will be dealt with and they will be brought down by all means available,” the Syrian army general command said in a statement.

Turkish air strikes hit a group of Kurdish fighters allied to US-backed militia late on Wednesday, which the Syrian statement called an act of “blatant aggression”.

Northern Syria is an increasingly complex battlefield and Wednesday’s air strikes highlighted the conflicting agendas of NATO members Turkey and the United States.

Turkey supports rebels opposed to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and is also trying to push Islamic State away from Syria’s Turkish border.

At the same time, the United States has backed Kurdish-led forces in their own fight against Islamic State, infuriating Ankara, which sees the YPG as an extension of Kurdish PKK militants who have waged a three-decade insurgency in southeastern Turkey.

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