Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Turkish soldier killed in Syria's Afrin

Turkish soldier killed in Syria's Afrin

Turkey has resumed air attacks in the enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, destroying more than a dozen targets and "neutralising" at least 34 rebels, the Turkish army says. Ankara has denied such charges.

Reportedly, the parties will discuss the Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin during the meeting.

Turkey's air and ground campaign in northwest Syria - "Operation Olive Branch" - against the Kurdish YPG militia has opened a new front in Syria's multi-sided war and further strained relations with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Washington. The raids began at midnight, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

USA officials said on Thursday that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US -backed militia force, had captured Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, two of four militants known as the "Beatles" for their English accents.

The overnight attacks came after a lull in Turkish airstrikes following the shooting down of a Russian warplane elsewhere in Syria last weekend.

The Turkish raid against Washington-backed forces comes two days after the U.S. attacked pro-Damascus forces in the western Syrian province of Dayr al-Zawr, reportedly killing more than 100 of them as the fighters were engaged in an anti-Daesh operation.

Turkish police arrested Mehmet Zeki Kilic, the co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) Sancaktepe district representation in Istanbul, said a source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Their territory has expanded since they joined forces with the United States to fight Islamic State militants - although Washington opposes the Kurds' autonomy plans, as does Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Ankara launched an air and ground offensive in Afrin on January 20 against the YPG, which it views as a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK, that has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil.

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