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11 Febrero 2018, 03:44 | Crisanna Felipe
Turkey's offensive in Syria runs into problems: mountains and mud
You can hear more about the situation in northern Syria in the latest dispatch from Tom Bowman, who is on the ground with American forces.
A statement from the Turkish military did not specify a reason for why the helicopter crashed. There was no immediate comment from the Syrian army.
The overnight attack, which a USA military official earlier said killed about 100 of the attackers, added another layer to the Syrian conflict that is once again plunging into a new and unpredictable spiral of violence.
Turkey issued a blanket denial for the humanitarian crisis, though they've claimed to have killed many hundreds of Kurdish fighters, and there seems to be no real doubt that displacing the Kurds from Afrin is a major military goal for them. Erdogan has framed the new offensive as a fight against terrorists. While the Western experts raise concerns about the legality of the mission, as does the Russian Defense Ministry, they do not say the USA seeks Syria's economic assets.
Turkey launched an offensive into the enclave on January 20 against Syrian Kurdish fighters that Ankara considers to be a security threat due to their links to outlawed rebels in Turkey.
The draft resolution calls on all parties to "immediately lift the sieges of populated areas" and "cease depriving civilians of food and medicine indispensable for their survival". "They're thick and sturdy and they burrow deep into the mountains".
The military also said, "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming any civilians.
The operation has been conducted jointly with Free Syrian Army opposition forces which are friendly to Turkey.
But on Wednesday, as we reported, regime-backed forces attacked Syrian opposition troops, accompanied by USA advisers.
The office said in the northwestern Afrin district, internal displacement from border communities to the central part of Afrin continues, including 15,000-30,000 in recent weeks. "Even Turkey acknowledges that this isn't a victory", he said. But on Sunday, after a Russian jet was shot down apparently by another Syrian faction, Moscow blocked Turkish access to the airspace. A USA military official earlier said about 100 of the attackers were killed in the overnight strike.
Russian Federation intervened in the war more than two years ago to shore up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, becoming one of the war's most powerful players, and Turkey needs its support, or at least its acquiescence, to pursue any mission in Afrin. However, the term is usually used for the terrorists who have been killed in the operations.
Said that since the start of 2018, at least 11 children who attended Save the Children-supported schools, as well as one of the teachers, have been killed, the report said. The Syrian Democratic Forces, organized by the Kurdish YPG/YPJ, have played an instrumental role in the defeat of IS since 2014.
"People here believe Russian Federation is taking revenge after its plane was shot down by the rebels and its pilot killed", Hazem Shami, an opposition activist in Eastern Ghouta said. "It is full of civilians", he said.
"With the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation fully controlling the skies over Afghanistan, there is every reason to believe they had a hand in that, or at least, did not hamper these flights, despite the fact that Washington and Brussels deny that", Kabulov said.
A United Nations commission, tasked with investigating war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, earlier this week condemned the upsurge of violence in Idlib and Ghouta, saying they "make a mockery" of the de-escalation agreement.
And in northern Syria, the battlefield is growing increasingly complex. The IS militants have been dispersed in the province, which also has a number of US bases.
The State Department said it is deeply troubled by those cases and urged the Turkish government to "end the protracted state of emergency, to release those detained arbitrarily under emergency authorities, and to safeguard the rule of law consistent with Turkey's own domestic and global obligations and commitments".
"The shelling, supposedly initiated by pro-regime forces, marks an alarming escalation in the war in Syria", Arab media reported. Many were captured with US support.
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