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Operation Olive Branch: Turkish military helicopter shot down in Syria operation

11 February 2018

The military's statement said the soldier died in clashes with the Syrian Kurdish group known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG.

Turkey resumed airstrikes in Syria's Kurdish enclave of Afrin after a brief lull, killing and wounding several people, the military and Kurdish officials said Friday.

A statement from the Turkish military did not specify a reason for why the helicopter crashed.

Another 11 soldiers were wounded after the offensive's bloodiest day for Turkish military personnel, the army said.

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"There is no evidence that it was downed by an outside intervention", Yildirim said.

Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including women and children.

The Kurdish commander estimated there were 32 different factions under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) staging the assault on the isolated Afrin, relatively the most peaceful part of war-torn Syria until Turkey launched its attack in the name of fighting "terrorism".

YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud said Turkey's army and its Syrian insurgent allies hit the main water plant supplying Afrin city, knocking it out of service.

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The Afrin invasion aims to the prevent the YPG from establishing a statelet on Turkey's borders, which they fear could become a base for PKK attacks in Turkey. It says the operation is to protect its borders from the group, which has gained control over large swaths of land across northern Syria since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

"This has created a humanitarian crisis, because the capacities of the region are not enough to meet the needs of this massive displacement", she told a news conference.

"These reports are extremely troubling and make a mockery of the so-called "de-escalation zones" meant to protect civilians from such bombardment", said the commission's chair Paulo Pinheiro in a statement, referring to to reduce violence in opposition-held areas including Idlib and Eastern Ghouta.

Anadolu and the private Dogan news agency later reported that Turkish troops and Turkey-backed opposition fighters cleared five villages of Kurdish fighters in the Afrin region.

YPG spokesperson says Turkey bogged down in Afrin
Another 11 soldiers were injured after the offensive's bloodiest day for Turkish military personnel, the army said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, says at least 68 civilians have been killed.

Hostilities in northwestern Syria, particularly in Idlib and Afrin, continue to cause casualties and displacement among civilians, according to United Nations officials. "If this [NATO] alliance is to persist, you will ignore words of looters, and accredit the words of Turkey, a trustworthy friend", he said at the weekend.The US sees the Turkish campaign as distracting attention from the task of finishing off ISIS. "A fighting army can not rely so much on lies".

Operation Olive Branch: Turkish military helicopter shot down in Syria operation