Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Over 40 settlements liberated in Syria's Afrin

Over 40 settlements liberated in Syria's Afrin

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Turkey insists that its operation in Afrin is "fully in line with global law", saying that the presence of the Syrian Kurdish YPG in the area is a "security threat" to the country.

Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and other top commanders inspected the ongoing "Operation Olive Branch" from an airborne warning and control plane, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on February 9.

Turkey's military issued a brief statement Friday saying its jets bombed a total of 19 targets, including shelters, ammunition depots and gun positions belonging to "terror" organizations.

Co-leader Serpil Kemalbay herself was among facing 17 suspects facing arrest over their opposition to Turkey's military offensive in neighbouring Syria, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.

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Seven YPG fighter and two civilians were killed in the strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom -based group that monitors the war in Syria.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Moscow supported a cessation of hostilities, but believed the plan was not realistic because terrorists were keeping up their attacks there.

The overnight attacks came after a lull in Turkish airstrikes following the shooting down of a Russian warplane elsewhere in Syria last weekend. The overnight strikes were the first by the Turkish air force in almost a week.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone on Thursday and agreed to strengthen military and security service coordination in Syria, according to the Kremlin. Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-decade-long insurgency in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.

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