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Five Turkish soldiers killed in military operations in Afrin: Turkish army

10 February 2018

The ministry urged the two sides to force the US -led coalition to stop its crimes and attacks that have claimed the lives to thousands of civilians over the past three years.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday pressed Russia's Vladimir Putin to do all he can to ensure the Syrian government puts an end to a deteriorating humanitarian crisis in eastern Ghouta and Idlib, the Elysee Palace said. However, the US made a decision to step back, saying that they no longer held an interest in Afrin.

Syrian government troops have since Monday waged an intense air campaign on Eastern Ghouta, the only significant opposition pocket near the capital Damascus. "The violence shows no sign of abating", UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement.

It came on the heels of the bloodiest day in months for Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, when 80 civilians were killed in strikes.

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.

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He said "to confront those who really fight the global terrorists on the ground, on the Syrian side, is criminal". It noted that the government-backed Syrian forces had failed to coordinate their action with the Russian military prior to launching the mission.

In response, Syrian state media called the US attack an "aggression" and a "new massacre", the AP writes.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said it has documented at least 23 civilians killed so far.

Rescue teams rushed to Jisreen and pulled three children and a woman out of the rubble. "But so far, the calls have not been heard".

The fighting in Idlib has displaced at least 300,000 civilians towards the north of the province and the Turkish border, as people fled a regime advance and bombardment there.

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The BSF would be mainly constituted by the YPG, which has been supported politically and militarily by the United States since 2014 in the battle against the Islamic State.

SANA labeled it an "aggression" and a "new massacre". Protection of children must be paramount at all times, and schools, hospitals and playgrounds should be places of safety, never targets, she stressed, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Syria.

The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman confirmed Friday that 400 Daesh prisoners had been released in northern Syria to fight Turkey.

They discussed the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta, just outside Damascus, where dozens have been killed in aerial strikes in the past few days.

"You start with asking for restraint and look for ways that you can help bring it to an end as quickly as possible", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Five Turkish soldiers killed in military operations in Afrin: Turkish army