Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Over 40 settlements liberated in Syria's Afrin

Over 40 settlements liberated in Syria's Afrin

One Turkish soldier was killed in Operation Olive Branch carried out by the Turkish army in Syria's Afrin district today, according to a military statement.

Turkey has ordered the arrest of 17 people including the co-leader of the main pro-Kurdish political party over opposition to the military's offensive in Syria, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday. The raids killed seven YPG forces and two civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that monitors the war.

Separately, one soldier was killed in a rocket attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Çukurca district in the southeastern province of Hakkari on February 9, media reports said.

USA officials said on Thursday that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US -backed militia force, had captured Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, two of four militants known as the "Beatles" for their English accents.

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"This has created a humanitarian crisis, because the capacities of the region are not enough to meet the needs of this massive displacement", she told a news conference.

Since the operation began, Turkish forces and the FSA have captured a total of 46 zones, including 29 villages and 13 strategic mountains and hills from the YPG.

The overnight attacks came after a lull in Turkish airstrikes following the shooting down of a Russian warplane elsewhere in Syria last weekend. USA support for the Kurdish-led forces has infuriated Turkey, which views growing Kurdish power as a security threat along its frontier.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade insurgency in Turkey and is listed as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union.

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