Turkish soldiers killed, 11 injured in Afrin

12 Febrero, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Kelly Blake

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on global law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, the military said.

A spokesman for the Kurdish militia, Mustafa Bali, said his fighters brought down the aircraft in Raju, north-west Afrin.

The Turkish military said one of its helicopters crashed at 1300 (1000 GMT) killing two military personnel but did not give a reason for the incident, only saying that an investigation had been launched.

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.

He said Erdogan and the Turkish media were "trying to cover the Turkish army's failure in Afrin". Indiscriminate bombing and attacks have resulted in severe losses to the ISIS.

"Of course people went from Sheikh Maqsoud - in the hundreds - to bear arms and defend Afrin", said Badran Himo, a Kurdish official from Sheikh Maqsoud.

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Aside from the Turkish offensive in Afrin, the Syrian government escalated its attacks on two of the largest and most important remaining opposition-held areas, in Idlib province in north-western Syria and on eastern Ghouta, a region near the capital Damascus.

At least 2 million civilians live in Idlib province, according to the United Nations human rights office, while some 350,000 people are believed to be trapped in the Eastern Ghouta area.

More than 270,000 people have been displaced in Idlib by the government onslaught since December 15, the United Nations said. "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".

The Observatory said government forces opened a corridor for Islamic State fighters to leave parts of Hama and Aleppo provinces, where they were under siege, and head for rebel-held Idlib province.

He also said "utmost care and effort" was being taken to avoid harm to civilians, innocent people and environment, despite the fact that terrorists were deliberately wearing civilian clothes and using civilian houses for their positions and shelters. It added that the group's partners say 45 schools in eastern Ghouta have been attacked this year, with 11 destroyed. "Schools are supposed to be safe places for children, protected under worldwide law, yet they are being attacked every single day". "He calls on all to work for an immediate and unconditional de-escalation of violence and exercise restraint".

Mroue reported from Beirut.

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