"If this happens, we shall treat them as terrorists. We defend our country. Nobody has the right to interfere in Syria – neither from a political, nor from a military point of view. This would be a violation of international law, and for us, as well as for citizens of Syria, the only possibility is to defend our motherland," Assad told El Pais newspaper.
Assad stressed that Turkey had been involved in events of Syria from the very beginning and sent terrorists to the country.
Last week, media reported that Saudi Arabia could send thousands of ground forces to Syria, most likely in coordination with Turkey, to take part in the fight against the Daesh jihadist group. Shortly after that, Turkey reportedly sent troops to its border, and also intensified the shelling of Kurdish-held areas in northern border regions of Syria.
On Monday, a spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Omer Celik, said Turkey had no plans to conduct a ground operation in Syria.
Riyadh has been a nominal member of a US-led international coalition that has been carrying out airstrikes against Daesh jihadists in Syria and Iraq since 2014. However, the operations in Syria have been conducted without the approval of the Syrian government or the UN Security Council.
Russia has also been leading a separate campaign against Daesh militants in Syria since last September, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad, having outlawed the group.