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Turkish jets resume airstrikes over Syrian Kurdish enclave

12 February 2018

Turkey's military announced the death of another soldier in its operation against a syrian Kurdish militia in northern Syria, on Sunday.

The military said the offensive, code-named Operation Olive Branch, is aimed at the Kurdish militants "to protect the friendly and brotherly people of that area from the oppression of these terrorist groups".

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia says he has told the U.N. Security Council that the US -led coalition's airstrikes on Syrian government-backed troops were "inadmissible" and "deplorable".

In a statement, the military said the Turkish Armed Forces had "destroyed" 36 YPG targets and "neutralized" 79 YPG militants in airstrikes that were carried out overnight on February 10.

Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, is also due to visit Ankara next week as part of a trip to five countries in the Middle East.

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"Attacks on health facilities in Idlib Governorate continued with an alarming frequency", it added.

"The United States is extremely concerned about escalating violence in Idlib, the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta and other areas of Syria threatened by ongoing regime and Russian airstrikes". The Syrian Civil Defence search-and-rescue group said two people had been killed in the Eastern Ghouta region.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council failed to back an appeal from UN aid officials for a month-long humanitarian ceasefire in Syria.

But the USA denies those connections and sees the YPG as a key ally in the battle against the Islamic State.

Washington must come to terms with Russian Federation and Turkey to avoid repeated clashes in northern Syria, where it continues to support and pit local Kurdish-dominated militants against Damascus, retired US General Paul Vallely told RT.

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Aid workers there say several hospitals have been bombed, some a few times in a largely successful effort to put them out of service and deter civilians from using them.

According to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Office, at least 277 civilians were killed last week including 230 in air strikes by Syrian government and allied forces, the statement said.

The Council is expected to begin debate on the resolution Monday. However, Anadolu Agency earlier reported that the helicopter crashed in the southern Turkish province of Hatay. It is commanding a joint operation with Syrian opposition forces on the ground, as well, though they have been held to limited territorial gains by the YPG.

Turkey has justified its military operation calling the YPG a terrorist organization. A further 812 civilians are reported to have been injured.

US national security adviser H.R. McMaster held talks on Sunday in Istanbul with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, the White House said, amid persistent tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Syria and other issues.

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Turkish jets resume airstrikes over Syrian Kurdish enclave