Monday, 25 June, 2018

Ankara: 1369 militants killed in Olive Branch operation in Afrin

Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Committee head Ömer Serdar Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Committee head Ömer Serdar
Ellis Copeland | 12 February, 2018, 16:54

Declaring bilateral ties at a "critical point", Cavusoglu said: "We will either fix the ties or they will break down completely".

"We don't want promises and pledges from the US".

Erdogan has promised to sweep the militia from Turkey's southern border, a move that could put Turkish troops in confrontation with USA forces on the ground in Syria. The missing trust needs to be restored.

On the Turkish side, the YPG statement said their forces killed 15 Turkish soldiers and 21 militants of the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels at the Raju front, west of Afrin.

Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Kurdish militant group it regards as a terrorist organisation.

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Cavusoglu said all the sensitive issues will be discussed in detail during U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said that Afrin should be cleared of "terrorists", and demanded the deployment of Turkish troops there during a speech back in November 2016.

The Turkish military says it has killed, wounded or captured more than 1,200 YPG fighters.

Damascus "strongly condemns the brutal Turkish aggression on Afrin, which is an inseparable part of Syrian territory", Syria's official news agency, SANA, cited a Syrian Foreign Ministry source as saying on January 20.

Turkish military on Monday asserted determination to continue its ongoing counter-terror operations within the country.

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