Syrian rebels praised Turks on Saturday for standing firm against a “conspiracy” to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan, one of the main regional supporters of their fight against President Bashar al-Assad.
“We congratulate the Turkish government…for the victory of the Turkish people and the government they elected,” said a statement issued in the name of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
It said the Turkish people had thwarted a “great conspiracy which targeted the stability and security of the country”, and had shown the world that their will would not be broken.
The statement was sent to Reuters by Jaysh al-Nasr, a Western-backed faction which is part of the broad FSA umbrella of rebel groups.
There was no immediate official response in Syria to the attempted coup in its northern neighbor, but state television had extensive coverage of the overnight turmoil.
Celebratory gunfire was heard in Damascus early on Saturday after Turkey’s army said it had seized power from President Tayyip Erdogan, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main regional opponents.
Witnesses said people also took to the streets in the Syrian capital and in the government-held section of the northern city of Aleppo.
The Syrian government has accused Erdogan of fuelling conflict in Syria by supporting Islamist insurgents battling Damascus and allowing foreign jihadis to cross the border from Turkey into Syria.
Turkey alone is hosting 2.7 million refugees. Syrian rebels
Numerous rebel groups operating under the banner of the Free Syrian Army have received aid via Turkey as part of a program of military support that has also been backed by the United States.