1266 terrorists 'neutralized' in Turkey's Afrin operation

1266 terrorists 'neutralized' in Turkey's Afrin operation

1266 terrorists 'neutralized' in Turkey's Afrin operation

In the statement, the military said that airstrikes by Turkish jets destroyed shelters, hideouts and ammunition depots belonging to the PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria.

Syria's US -backed Kurds are getting indirect help from an unlikely source in their war against Turkey in the northwestern region of Afrin: President Bashar al-Assad.

However, pro-Kurdish news sources said it was shot down in the village of Qude in Afrin's Rajo district.

The battle, however, is not going to plan and the Turkish army has so far achieved only limited success.The Independent of the United Kingdom has reported that a helicopter of the Turkish army has been shot down by the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units north-west of the border town of Afrin. "We have two martyrs", Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in televised remarks.

Turkey considers the group a terrorist organisation and an extension of an insurgency within its own borders that has fought for Kurdish autonomy for more than three decades.

The Turkish military said two soldiers on board the aircraft died.

But tensions have mounted in recent months, with Damascus threatening to march into parts of eastern and northern Syria captured by the SDF, with support from the US-led coalition. Turkish forces have been leading a counteroffensive against Kurdish militias since late January.

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For the United States, it is yet another complication in Syria's seven-year-old war, and a reminder of how its Syrian Kurdish ally must at times make deals with Assad even as it builds military ties with the United States.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called for urgent global action to halt the bloodshed after reports of 277 civilian deaths between Sunday and Friday.

An airstrike Friday on the village of Hass in Idlib province killed at least 14 people, according to the Observatory and other opposition activists.

Also Friday, Save the Children said tens of thousands of children are in immediate danger in the besieged eastern suburbs of the capital of Damascus, also known as eastern Ghouta, which has been under intense shelling and airstrikes that left more than 200 dead in the past five days.

There were also reports of the government using toxic agents in residential areas.

He added: "There is still a significant gap between the YPG and regime positions on the future of northeastern Syria".

Zeid noted that both Idlib and Eastern Ghouta are supposed to be "de-escalation zones" according to a peace agreement struck by Russia, Turkey and Iran in May.

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