"I have just seen summaries of the same reports. Frankly, I do not have any details of what is going on," the official said. "We do not believe that a military operation whether in Afrin or directed against the self-defense rather Syrian Democratic Forces, the SDF, in the north and northeast Syria serves the cause of regional stability, Syrian stability, or indeed Turkish concerns about the security of their border."
The statement was made amid the reports of the shelling of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the Syrian city of Afrin by Turkish Armed Forces, which reportedly covered seven settlement, allegedly causing civilian casualties, with a 6-year old child among wounded.
Despite the US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert's calls on Turkey not to engage in any invasion of Afrin, remaining focused on defeating Daesh (banned in Russia), Ankara has been threatening to start a military advance in the region since last week.
This controversial move follows a reported US plan to train Kurdish forces in Syria to patrol the country's border with Turkey. The force is expected to be staffed partly by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), affiliated with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), considered to be a terrorist group by Turkey.
The possibility of Turkish military invasion sparked mass protests in Afrin, where thousands of people took to the streets, calling for international assistance on January 19, with several rallies were held across cities in northern Syria.
As Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag explained on January 17, Ankara was holding consultations with Moscow and Washington over a possible operation against the YPG in Afrin.