DAMASCUS, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad on Thursday blamed the Kurdish forces for the ongoing Turkish offensive in northern Syria.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday evening, Mekdad said the Kurdish forces in northern and northeastern Syria had refused attempts to resolve the situation in the Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria.
He also mentioned the situation in Afrin, a northern Syrian enclave that fell into the hands of the Turkey-backed rebels following a Turkish offensive in early 2018, after the Kurdish forces refused to hand over that area to the Syrian army.
"Anyway, the Syrian state welcomes all of its citizens but we are not going to negotiate with them (Kurdish forces) on the terms of separatism or on the logic that they are a strong force on the ground," he said.
Meanwhile, Mekdad reaffirmed the stance that the Syrian government will confront all foreign invaders.
"We stress again that the Syrian army is fighting the terrorist groups across Syria and will fight against the invading foreign forces that exist illegally on Syrian soil and we are on full readiness to confront all challenges facing Syria," he said.
On Wednesday, Turkey started a military campaign in northern Syria to eliminate the Kurdish forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces and its umbrella of the People's Protection Units, which are both deemed by Ankara as separatists and terrorists.
The Turkish operation started after the withdrawal of the U.S. forces from northern Syria, which was seen as a sign of abandoning the Kurdish forces which used to be Washington's allies in fighting IS in Syria.