Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Turkey bombs terrorists' positions in Afrin

Image result for kurdish forces afrin afp YPG Death toll tops 220 in four-day regime assault on Syria rebel enclave
Kenny Thornton | 12 February, 2018, 09:49

"We have to respond; otherwise, they will keep doing it", he said.

"What would we talk about with a murderer who has killed a million of his citizens", Erdogan said in his address to mukhtars- heads of Turkish villages and neighbourhoods-at the presidential complex in Turkey's capital, Ankara, as quoted by TRT World.

The PKK is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia says he will raise the USA -led coalition's deadly airstrike on Syrian government-backed troops during closed consultations later Thursday in the U.N. Security Council.

The draft resolution proposed by Sweden and Kuwait also calls for an immediate end to all sieges including in Eastern Ghouta. "That's not realistic", Ford said.

The overnight attack, which a USA military official earlier said killed about 100 of the attackers, added another layer to the Syrian conflict that is once again plunging into a new and unpredictable spiral of violence.

Asked if Russian Federation was responsible for not stopping the attack, Veale said: "The de-confliction effort has served its goal".

Nauert mentioned the frequency of the use of chemical weapons that have been used on Syrian civilians, which includes an attack last Sunday. "The air strikes need to end", French Defence Minister Florence Parly said on France Inter radio.

The U.S. says Russian Federation must use its influence over Assad's forces to ensure Syria immediately allows United Nations aid to reach vulnerable civilians.

Russia's top diplomat for Afghanistan says there are indications that the US military is allowing Islamic State fighters fleeing from Syria and Iraq to infiltrate Afghanistan.

"We came all this way to tell our brothers in Afrin they are not alone and that we are with them", Qamra Ali from Qamishli told the Daily Star.

The death toll mounted steadily throughout Thursday, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying that 75 civilians had died by the evening.

There has been a particular increase in military activity in the opposition-held Eastern Ghouta and Idlib regions.

Among them were at least 58 children, the Observatory said.

Turkey meanwhile has continued its campaign in the majority-Kurdish enclave of Afrin, a battle that has progressed slowly amid resistance from Syrian Kurdish militias there.

Syria's foreign ministry sent two messages Thursday to the U.N. secretary general and the president of the U.N. Security Council complaining about what it called a "new aggression that poses a war crime and a crime against humanity".

Abe and Moon show unity as Winter Games open
The rare meeting began shortly after 11 a.m. and ended at 1:46 p.m., an official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said .

By crossing the river, the pro-government forces would have violated the existing de-confliction agreement between Washington and Moscow, approaching USA -backed forces based near an oil field.

All throughout Syria, except in areas firmly under the government's control, the violence has escalated precipitously.

Ankara labels the US-backed Kurdish forces a "terrorist organization" and is angry with Washington's support for the YPG.

The OCHA said education activities in Idlib witnessed repeated interruptions due to the ongoing hostilities in the past two months. "The past week has been one of the bloodiest periods of the entire conflict, with wave after wave of deadly airstrikes leading to civilian casualties in areas of Eastern Ghouta and Idlib", Zeid said in a statement. It said the dead includes a medic and at least 10 children.

An estimated 400,000 people live under a suffocating government-imposed siege, which has made food and medicine almost impossible to access. However, the US made a decision to step back, saying that they no longer held an interest in Afrin.

On Feb. 5 high school students and teachers in Kobani - where YPG fighters successfully defended that city at great sacrifice from Islamic State in 2014 - demonstrated in solidarity with Kurds in Afrin.

The YPG said the Turkish army also targeted a slaughterhouse on Afrin's outskirts, heavily damaging the building and killing hundreds of sheep.

Rescue teams rushed to Jisreen and pulled three children and a woman out of the rubble.

Council diplomats were expected to discuss the text on Monday.

Eleven Turkish soldiers were killed and 11 others were injured during clashes in one day in Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin, the Turkish military said in a statement Saturday, APA reports. However, Anadolu Agency earlier reported that the helicopter crashed in the southern Turkish province of Hatay.

Some NATO member states also have raised concerns over Turkey's military operation in Afrin.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged Turkey to respect the sovereignty of Syria, a local media reported on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear when the Istanbul meeting would take place.

Eastern Ghouta and Idlib, a northern province where violence also flared this week, are both so-called de-escalation zones agreed past year in a bid to pave the way for an end to the conflict. It added that 60,000 people have fled their homes leading to a humanitarian crisis, and called on global aid organizations to help people in Afrin.

The officials provided the information on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.

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