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Turkey has deadliest day in Syria

11 February 2018

Turkish forces claim that hundreds of Kurdish militia fighters have been "neutralized" in a series of military sorties, while militias such as the the YPG had before Saturday claimed more than a dozen Turkish casualties. All planes returned to base safely, the statement added.

Speaking in Istanbul on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn't mention by name the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, but said that those responsible will pay for it.

Three Turkish soldiers were killed and five soldiers were wounded in Syria's Afrin district on February 10, an initial military statement said.

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After Erdogan declared, "One of our helicopters was also downed", the Turkish prime minister said that the cause of the helicopter's crash was not yet clear and investigations were ongoing.

Ankara says the YPG is a "terrorist" offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency inside Turkey and is blacklisted by Washington and the European Union.

Operation Olive Branch was launched by Turkey on January 20 to remove the PKK/PYD/YPG/KCK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

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A man stands on the rubble of damaged buildings after an airstrike on the rebel-held town of Mesraba in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria, November 26, 2017. It added that the group's partners on the ground say 45 schools in eastern Ghouta have been attacked since the start of 2018, with 11 completely destroyed.

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. "Schools are supposed to be safe places for children, protected under worldwide law, yet they are being attacked every single day".

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Turkey has deadliest day in Syria