Published: Sun, March 04, 2018
Science | By

Turkey Suffers Deadly Day in Afrin Offensive

Turkey Suffers Deadly Day in Afrin Offensive

Eight Turkish soldiers were killed and another 13 were wounded in clashes in northwest Syria's Afrin region on Thursday, Turkey's armed forces said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes on the area of Kafr Janna were the third such raid on loyalist fighters in the enclave bordering Turkey in less than 48 hours.

The Turkish authorities rejected a call by the United States this week to implement the humanitarian truce in Syria called for by the UN Security Council, with Ankara saying the UN resolution did not concern its operation.

The Syrian state news agency said Turkish forces killed 20 people in Afrin.

The fighting has also killed 270 YPG members, 44 Turkish soldiers and 241 rebel fighters aligned with Turkey, the observatory reports.

Another Turkish news agency, Dogan, reported that Turkish and allied forces had started an operation on Friday morning to take control of the town of Rajo in Afrin.

Since the launch of the operation on January 20, the Turkish military and the FSA have liberated 126 locations including two district centres, 96 villages, 21 strategic mountains and hills and one YPG base.

Last month, Amnesty International said indiscriminate shelling had killed scores of civilians in Afrin.

Turkey considers Syrian Kurdish fighters to be "terrorists" linked to a Kurdish insurgency inside its own borders.

He also pointed out that on different sides of the Euphrates River in Syria; to the east of which the land is controlled by US backed Kurdish groups and where USA troops are present, different scenarios were unfolding.

This is the first time that Syrian government forces are deployed in the region since 2012 when the YPG held the area under its control.

The Turkish TV channel Haberturk reported earlier that the second stage of Ankara's Olive Branch military push was launched on Friday. The Turkish government views the YPG as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Turkey has warned that the Afrin offensive could expand to the nearby Syrian city of Manbij.

The UN Security Council on Saturday, February 24, passed a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria.

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