Monday, 17 December, 2018

Turkish military says another soldier killed in Syria

James Mattis the US defence secretary has ruled out sending two British fighters nicknamed the Beatles to Guantanamo Bay James Mattis the US defence secretary has ruled out sending two British fighters nicknamed the Beatles to Guantanamo BayJONATHAN ERNST REUTERS
Ellis Copeland | 11 February, 2018, 12:58

Turkey's president announced that a Turkish military helicopter was "downed" in northern Syria Saturday during Ankara's offensive on Syrian Kurdish militia there.

Turkey launched an air and ground offensive in Afrin on January 20 targetting Kurdish YPG fighters, which it views as a terrorist wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil.

The army said in different statements the Turkish forces were killed and injured in different locations in Afrin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the remarks during a telephone conversation, according to a Kremlin statement, Xinhua reported.

The Turkish army confirmed the crash but did not comment on a cause.

Last Saturday, seven Turkish troops died in the worst single-day loss of the operation so far, with five killed in a tank attack.

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Turkey's state news agency, Anadolu, originally said the attack happened in Turkey's southern Hatay province, which borders Afrin to the west, a region that's become the focus of Turkey's latest military excursion into Syria.

"We are in a war".

The Turkish government, in turn, tried to present its fight against YPG - effectively a branch of long-time enemy number one, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - as a battle against the Islamic State (IS).

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement: "The past week has been one of the bloodiest periods of the entire conflict, with wave after wave of deadly air strikes leading to civilian casualties in areas of Eastern Ghouta and Idlib".

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrikes targeted the town of Afrin and its outskirts, killing two people and wounding others.

She called for an immediate end to the fighting, adding that the siege "means there is nowhere for them to escape".

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