Turkey resumes airstrikes on Syrian Kurdish enclave


At least seven Turkish servicemen were killed on Saturday during the operation in Syria's northern district of Afrin, the Turkish General Staff said.

"[The perpetrators] will pay a heavy price [for downing the Turkish helicopter]", Erdogan said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed. The violence has left hundreds killed and wounded as the Syrian government and its allies sought to consolidate their hold on remaining opposition-controlled areas.

They discussed the possibility of a meeting between the leaders of the three countries, but the exact date has yet to be decided, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

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

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.

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Since Turkey began its attacks, 120 people have been killed, including 26 children and 17 women, according to a statement from the civil administration council in Afrin.

Twenty one Turkish soldiers have died since the beginning of the operation.

"For the past 21 days, the Turkish army has been violating all laws related to war", Hiddo said.

According to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Office, at least 277 civilians were killed last week including 230 in airstrikes by Syrian government and allied forces, the statement said.

In a statement, the Turkish military said that air strikes destroyed shelters, hideouts and ammunition depots belonging to the YPG and the Islamic State group, which Turkey says it is also combating in the operation.

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. "This fighting is absolutely unacceptable". This would mark the first time the YPG have downed a Turkish aircraft in the Afrin offensive.