Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive in Syria

The YPG also tried to portray itself as victorious on the battlefield, publishing dozens of recordings of its forces successfully targeting military vehicles of the Turkish forces and its allies.

"One of our helicopters was downed just recently". However, in a posting on Twitter, Mustefa Bali, spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces dominated by the YPG, said a helicopter had been hit in the Rajo area of northwest Afrin.

Since the beginning of the operation, the Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army have managed to capture 48 different strategic areas from terrorists including a town center, 31 villages, three rural areas and 13 hills.

Accounts associated with the Azerbaijani lobby in Turkey distributed photos, apparently taken in the war zone, showing messages written on shells like "Karabakh is Turkish, will remain Turkish" with a hashtag for the Turkish official name for the Afrin operation, "Olive Branch".

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

For the U.S., it is a welcomed development in Syria's seven-year-old war, as complicated as it may be. Turkey has always been one of the main allies of the anti-Assad rebels. We are in a war.

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But U.S. forces are not in Afrin, so have been unable to shield Afrin from the attack by Turkey, its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

In Idlib, where at least two million civilians reside, the air and ground offensive by Syrian Government forces and their allies, as well as leading to civilian casualties and extensive destruction, has also reportedly resulted in the displacement - for many of them repeated - of thousands of civilians.

For much of the war, Damascus and the YPG have avoided confrontation, at times fighting common enemies, including the rebel groups that are now helping Turkey attack Afrin.

Syria has been gripped by a new and escalating round of violence in recent weeks. "These range from a rolling series of airstrikes on residential areas of Duma on 6 February which reportedly killed at least 31 civilians, including 12 women and four children, and injured more than 100 others, including 37 children, to a strike the previous day on a blood bank in Saraqab city in Idlib, which had already been rendered inoperable by an earlier airstrike in January".

"Excuse me but no state would ignore a terror organisation growing like a tumour next to it", he said.

Scores of Kurds from Sheikh Maqsoud have gone to Afrin to support the fight, Kurdish officials there said.

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