March 20, 2018

Military helicopter downed in southern Turkey: Erdogan

11 February 2018, 09:07 | Taylor George

More than 220 civilians killed as Syria continues air strikes

39;US ties with YPG are hurting relations with Turkey'

Following the incident near Salhiyah, such misgivings have been heightened, especially as the situation on the ground becomes more complicated with increased Russian and Turkish involvement on the battlefield.

At least 2 million civilians live in Idlib province, according to the United Nations human rights office, while some 350,000 people are believed to be trapped in the Eastern Ghouta area.

Separately, the Turkish military said on Friday the construction of a fifth military post near Syria's northwestern region of Idlib had begun.

USA support for Kurdish-led forces has infuriated Turkey, which views growing Kurdish power as a security threat along its frontier.

Erdogan said Saturday that the helicopter was participating in the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria when it was shot down while flying over an area in Turkey's Hatay province.

"The main components of the Turkish-backed groups are Jabhat al-Nusra al-Qaeda's Syrian branch which rebranded itself as Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham, senior Afghan [Taliban] members, and Turkistan Islamic Party from China's Turkic Uyghurs", Hasaka said. The PKK has carried out multiple terrorist attacks inside Turkey that have killed hundreds of Turks.

"The global alliance against Daech, they are still there, and ethically they should stand beside us".

The neighborhood was one of several so-called de-escalation zones agreed a year ago by Russia, Turkey and Iran. "They have to look at the part of the Free Syrian Army, they have to look at the Kurds in northeastern Syria", the retired general stressed, warning that unless that happens "we're going to see a continuation of these conflicts".

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Why did Russian Federation abandon Afrin? Two of them were aboard a Turkish attack helicopter that crashed while on a mission over Afrin.

Turkey's attack on Afrin is not supported by the whole of the Syrian opposition, even though some armed factions are participating.

Mr Erdoğan who spoke on Saturday in Istanbul did not disclose the name of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units or YPG.

Monitors the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Turkish troops caused damages at the plant, nine kilometres northeast of Afrin city.

"It is a kind of revenge of Daesh being defeated in many areas". Turkish officials accused the YPG of indiscriminate rocket fire into Turkish border towns and claimed that "utmost care and sensitivity" were taken not to harm civilians, highlighting cases of Afrin residents being "thankful" for actions of the Turkish forces.

However, the Kurdish militias reject any truce that does not allow them to expand across northern Syria. But seven years on, the war in Syria shows no signs of ending anytime soon. "It rejects the creation of an independent Syrian Kurdistan".

Although the U.S. and Europe have urged Turkey restraint, they refrained from voicing an outright rejection of Ankara's campaign against the Kurds.

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