Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Turkey resumes airstrikes on Kurdish-held enclave

Image result for kurdish forces afrin afp YPG Turkey resumes airstrikes on Kurdish-held enclave
Ellis Copeland | 12 February, 2018, 02:10

Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul, Erdogan said "we might lose one helicopter, but they will pay a heavier price".

This news is confirmed by a spokesman for the Kurdish militia, Mustafa Bali.

A helicopter is seen firing two rockets in the area as plumes of smoke from the crash rise over the trees.

The Afrin invasion, launched on 20 January, aims to the prevent the YPG from establishing a statelet on Turkey's borders, which they fear could become a base for PKK attacks in Turkey.

"We don't have exact evidence or documents to determine that it went down with any outside interference", Binali Yildirim told reporters in the western province of Mugla.

YPG is regarded by Turkey as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade armed conflict in Turkey and is regarded as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union.

The Turkish military is making slow gains almost three weeks into the operation it calls "Olive Branch". Nevertheless, its strategic ally, the YPG, must at times make deals with Assad for its survival.

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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. UN Human Rights Office staff have received reports - including video footage - suggesting that in one instance, on 4 February, toxic agents may have been released following airstrikes on a residential area of eastern Saraqab city, although there were no reported deaths during this attack.

At least two million people live in Idlib, the largest area controlled by the opposition.

The battle lines are getting clearer in Syria and Assad is firmly in the saddle after a ferocious campaign by Russian Federation.

Both Idlib and eastern Ghouta are part of Russia-negotiated de-escalation areas, which are meant to freeze the lines of conflict and allow in humanitarian aid.

"After seven years of paralysis in the Security Council, the situation in Syria is crying out to be referred to the International Criminal Court, as well as for a much more concerted effort by states to bring peace", the statement said.

"The conduct and management of this war has been utterly shameful from the outset, and the failure to end it marks an epic failure of global diplomacy", said Mr Al Hussein.

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