Turkish General Staff Reports Seven Soldiers Killed During Afrin Operation

Putin Erdogan discuss Afrin Syria over phone call

"We might lose a helicopter, but they'll pay the price for this".

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

This news is confirmed by a spokesman for the Kurdish militia, Mustafa Bali.

Ankara launched an air and ground offensive last month against Kurdish fighters in Syria's Afrin region on its border, opening a new front in the multi-sided Syrian war.

At least 1,266 People's Protection Units (YPG) militants have been "neutralized" since the beginning of "Operation Olive Branch" in Syria's Afrin district, the Turkish General Staff said on February 11.

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.

The YPG released a video that they alleged showed the helicopter being downed. dpa could not independently verify the content.

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According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and in the region as well as to protect Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

Food is running short in Afrin as a result of the bombing, said Ebrahim Ebrahim, a Europe-based Kurdish official.

Using its Syrian proxies, Hasaka said, Ankara wanted to ferment hatred and create a conflict between the Kurdish and Arab components of Syria. It said it had killed 26 militants.

Earlier in January, the US-led coalition announced that it would help create the 30,000-strong BSF, half of which would be made up of the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance. "One is that we don't get approvals to actually go but even if we got approvals, there just is too much fighting going on", he said, pointing to hostilities in Idlib, Eastern Ghouta, and Afrin.

Ankara regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-decade insurgency on neighbouring Turkish soil.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey will strip the word "Turkish" from the name of its main medical association after the group publicly opposed the campaign.

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

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