The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on worldwide law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
Previously, the War Information Office of the Hizbullah organization reported that Syrian troops, mostly integrated by local units of the National Defense Forces, from the northern city of Aleppo, entered Afrin through the crossing of Al -Ziyara, north of the city of Nublu.
Amid a complicated military situation in northern Syrian areas, where Turkish and USA forces are present, Ankara stated forward that its army fights against the Kurdish militias Popular Protection Units (YPG) to secure its borders with Syria.
He was responding to a question about Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's recent suggestion that Ankara and Damascus could engage in direct talks to resolve issues in Afrin. Turkey began its assault last month to drive out the YPG, which it deems a security threat along its border akin to the Kurdish PKK insurgency on its own soil.
The militia fighters deployed hours after Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a phone call late Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin helped to stop the advance.
But a YPG official and a pro-Assad military commander denied similar Turkish statements on Tuesday night. Turkey and the Syrian militias it supports tried to force them back with artillery fire.
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The commander, in the alliance fighting alongside Damascus in Syria's nearly seven-year-old civil war, told Reuters the forces in Afrin had returned fire against Turkey-backed rebels.
The new phase of confrontation, pitting the Turkish army and its allies directly against pro-Assad forces, further scrambles the complex web of alliances and rivalries already at play in northern Syria.
"And for us, that would make them legitimate targets", Kalin said.
On Tuesday, Syrian state television showed a convoy of pro-government fighters entering Afrin to help Kurds confront a Turkish assault.
Reuters reports Turkish forces have reached several kilometers into Syria, but the YPG still holds most of Afrin including its central town.