Turkish soldiers, 116 FSA militants killed in Afrin Operation


Late on Thursday, the Turkish military said eight Turkish soldiers had been killed and 13 injured in clashes in Afrin.

Turkey on Thursday accused the United States of a double standard by specifying which "terrorist" groups can be fought in Syria and which cannot be.

A humanitarian convoy sent by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent arrived Thursday in the northern Syrian city of Afrin, the current target of a Turkish military operation, a source in the Aleppo province's press service told Sputnik.

Shortly after, it issued a second statement in which it announced that three more soldiers had been killed and six more were wounded, without giving details of the circumstances.

"May God grant peace to our martyred soldiers in Afrin, all my condolences to their loved ones", spokesman for the Turkish presidency Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter.

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Dogan News Agency reported that intense fighting broke out between Turkish special forces units deployed in Afrin and the People's Protection Unit (YPG) militants who used tunnels to mount an ambush. Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen TV, which has reporters throughout Syria, including in Afrin, said Turkish warplanes killed 18 pro-government gunmen while 19 more were missing. PKK has fought for independence in South-Eastern Turkey since 1978 but the YPG has denied any links to the group.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch along with the Free Syrian Army to clear out PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.

Turkey has stressed that the ceasefire is meant to give relief to civilian areas hit hard by Syrian government air raids, and has nothing to do with Turkey's "counterterrorism" operation in Afrin, northwestern Syria.

Washington warned Ankara that its offensive in Syrian Kurdistan distracts Kurdish fighters from the war against the Islamic State (IS).