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Airstrikes kill 54 civilians in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

11 February 2018, 06:18 | Winston Chapman

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched "Operation Olive Branch" to clear YPG militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

Today, two villages on the border with Turkey's Hatay province have been liberated from PYD/YPG.

Kurdish news sources said the the helicopter was shot down in Afrin's Rajo district.

Eleven Turkish soldiers were killed and 11 others were injured during clashes in one day in Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin, the Turkish military said in a statement Saturday, APA reports.

The latter is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey.

Murat Karayilan, a member of the PKK's Executive Council, told the pro-Kurdish Firat News Agency that Turkey was telling "lies" about the extent of the casualties it had suffered and number of YPG fighters killed. She added that around 60,000 had been displaced. In Idlib, the largest area controlled by the opposition, at least two million people reside.

Syrian government forces and their allies launched a push into Idlib seven weeks ago, inching closer to a key highway that connects Syria's two largest cities of Damascus and Aleppo.

More than 270,000 people have been displaced in Idlib by the government onslaught since December 15, the United Nations said.

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"My brother was hit yesterday in an air strike and we had to amputate his leg. Thank God it was only this", said an Eastern Ghouta resident reached by Reuters on Friday.

Located in the outskirt of capital Damascus, Eastern Ghouta was declared a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are forbidden.

More than 4,000 families are sheltering in basements and bunkers, according to Save the Children partners operating in the besieged enclave, the group said.

"A little earlier, one of our helicopters was shot down", Erdogan said in televised remarks without saying who was responsible but vowing they would pay a "heavier price".

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.

It's determined to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish state across the border in Syria and has used military force in the past against Kurds and ISIS in the northern part of the neighboring country.

"Children and teachers are terrified that at any moment they could be hit".

"The siege means there is nowhere for them to escape".



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