Two civilians killed in cross-border rocket attacks in Turkey's south

Police detain 13 over support for TTB statement criticizing Turkey’s Afrin incursion

Since January 20 Turkey has been conducting a military operation, codenamed "Olive Branch", against the Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin, an area controlled by the US-backed YPG, which is considered by Ankara to be affiliated with the Kurdistan's Workers' Party (PKK), regarded by Turkey as a terrorist organization.

An independent monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that two tanks had been destroyed and that 19 Turkish soldiers and allied Syrian militiamen had been killed in total Saturday.

The Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) launched a big counter-assault in the northwestern countryside of the Afrin region against the Turkish backed rebels in the Bulbul District on Thursday, but where is the YPG getting it's weapons from?

Syrian opposition activists say rebels have shot down a warplane in the country's northwest where government forces and their allies are advancing under the cover of intense airstrikes.

Turkey's Western allies do not classify the YPG as a terror group and have worked closely with its fighters in the battle against so-called Islamic State militants.

Meanwhile, seven civilians have been killed in mortar fire on the Turkish side of the border, with Ankara blaming the YPG.

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The order was ignored by a pro-Kurdish group, which objects to Turkey's treatment of Kurds in Turkey and Syria.

Turkey's high-stakes incursion in Afrin risks inflaming tensions even further with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, the United States, which is funding the very group Turkey is trying to defeat, the Kurdish YPG, in the fight against ISIS. "For the last two years they told us and everyone that they support PYD because of the Daesh threat and now Daesh is over, but they still continue to support them militarily [and] politically".

Eight top members of Turkey´s main medical association, including its chief, were Monday freed from detention for denouncing Ankara´s military offensive Syria against a Kurdish militia, their organisation said.

In a speech to supporters Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said his forces would reach the city of Afrin soon.

"What they see is that Iran is going to stay in Syria in the long run", said a senior Turkish official.

"Whatever the USA says or thinks, our [Syrian] partners are engaged in a war with Turkey", posing a complicated reality American and coalition commanders are being forced to deal with in Manbij sooner rather than later, she said.

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