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Syrian Observatory: Turkish jets attack pro-government forces in Afrin

Syrian Observatory: Turkish jets attack pro-government forces in Afrin

On Jan 20, Turkey launched "Operation Olive Branch" to rid Afrin of YPG militants.

The targets were hit by Turkish-made ATAK helicopters in western Afrin, it said.

The local Kurdish administration, the Syrian State, the Russian Federation, plus worldwide watchdogs such as the UN, London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty global have all documented civilians killed by Turkish attacks in Afrin.

The air strikes mark a major escalation between Turkey, the main backer of Syrian opposition fighters trying to remove President Bashar Assad from power, and Syria's pro-government forces, backed by Iran.

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The Observatory says more than 140 civilians have been killed in Turkish bombardment, but Turkey denies the claim and says it takes the "utmost care" to avoid civilian casualties.

The Turkish military said on Friday at least nine terrorists were neutralised in Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, northwestern Syria. The Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV said Turkish warplanes had killed 18 pro-government gunmen, while 19 more are missing.

This is while USA officials regard the YPG as the most effective fighting force against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in northern Syria, and have substantially increased their weaponry and technology support to the terrorist group.

Late on Thursday, the Turkish military said eight Turkish soldiers had been killed and 13 injured in clashes in Afrin.

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This figure only includes Turkish soldiers, and not their Free Syrian Army auxiliaries, nor any Kurds that got killed in the fighting.

Near the Syrian capital, Damascus, a five-hour daily truce was in effect on Friday, for the fourth day this week, but no civilians left the city's rebel-held suburbs known as eastern Ghouta.

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

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