Turkish Helicopter Downed in Afrin, Erdogan Promises 'Harsh Response'


The official state news agency SANA said the local fighters were battling IS militants and the US -backed SDF in the area.

Eastern Ghouta is home to an estimated 400,000 people who have lived under crippling government siege since 2013.

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

The United States and Turkey back differing rebel groups fighting Assad's government, which often refers to US -supported rebels as "terrorists" along with fighters from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council failed to back an appeal from UN aid officials for a month-long humanitarian ceasefire in Syria.

The PKK is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the EU.

In Thursday's deadliest incident, nine children and 12 adults were killed when a market in the town of Arbin was bombed, according to the Syrian Observatory.

His colleagues in the northern province of Idlib had treated more than a dozen cases of civilians falling ill due to a suspected chlorine attack on the city of Saraqeb. Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia said Thursday that the proposed ceasefire is "not realistic", Agence France-Presse reported.

The Council is expected to begin debate on the resolution Monday.

At least two Turkish troops were killed on Saturday as a military helicopter was shot down in the mountainous border region between Turkey and Syria, prompting the country's president to promise that those responsible will pay a "heavy price".

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But Pence said that Moon shared "a bit" about his meeting with the North Koreans, and that he "appreciated him sharing his perspective on that".

Turkish jets on February 11 destroyed targets in northwestern Syria within the range of the southern Turkish border district of Hatay.

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

Veale said they suspect the Syrian pro-government forces were trying to seize terrain from the USA -backed forces liberated from IS militants a year ago, including major oil fields in the area.

SANA labeled it an "aggression" and a "new massacre".

Regime bombing raids left 38 civilians dead on Wednesday, the Observatory said in a new toll.

The Iranian president further underlined the need for boosting trilateral ties among Iran, Turkey and Russian Federation and welcomed an upcoming meeting in Istanbul between the three countries' presidents on the Syria crisis.

USA national security adviser H.R. McMaster held talks on Sunday in Istanbul with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, the White House said, amid persistent tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Syria and other issues.

Eastern Ghouta is supposed to be one of four "de-escalation zones" declared previous year in a bid to reduce the bloodshed.

The Turkish president also invited Rouhani to the Istanbul meeting on the Syria conflict. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.