Febrero 24, 2018

Air strikes kill 31, including children, in Syria's Eastern Ghouta: Observatory

10 Febrero 2018, 10:27 | Martinez Canez

Cavusoglu with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran Tasnim news agency

Cavusoglu with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran  Tasnim news agency

Three weeks ago, in the face of repeated warnings by Washington, Turkish forces attacked the YPG Kurdish militia in the Syrian enclave of Afrin; but, diplomatic tensions could spill into a military confrontation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Turkey started an air and ground offensive in northwestern Syria, in the city of Afrin, against a Kurdish group known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG.

Separately, the Turkish chief of military staff, Gen. Hulusi Akar, and other commanders surveyed the operation from an airborne warning and control plane, the military said.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove the PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorist threat from Afrin.

The official said no USA troops were killed or wounded in the attack, which was carried out by some 500 fighters, but one Syrian fighter allied with the coalition was wounded.

By the end of past year, health care facilities had been attacked nearly 500 times since the start of the conflict, mostly by Russian and Syrian warplanes. The Syrian government has denied such reports. Turkey sees the YPG as Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the EU.

"The [opposition] Free Syrian Army spearheaded the ground attacks and spilled Syrian blood to serve Turkish plots", he added.

"The president stressed the need to overcome obstacles blocking negotiations and start a credible political process in the coming weeks under the auspice of the United Nations toward rebuilding peace, stability and unity in Syria", the French presidency statement said. "In a risky situation in Syria, [Turkey] should not add war to war", he said.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has moved a missile defense system close to Aleppo in northern Syria, preventing Turkish jets from flying over the country. US -backed Kurdish-led forces have been fighting for control of Deir el-Zour with rival Russian-backed Syrian troops that are reinforced by Iranian-supported militias.

Without getting the military involved, the USA doesn't really have a lot of options for fixing things in Syria - at least the places where it doesn't have any boots on the ground.

Nauert said the "extremely concerned" about the growing violence in eastern Ghouta, as well as in Idlib.

Elections further hamper bilateral U.S.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned those who shot down the helicopter will "surely pay a heavy price for it". Turkish forces have been leading a counteroffensive against Kurdish militias since late January.

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