Arts&Culture

Over 40 settlements liberated in Syria's Afrin

Over 40 settlements liberated in Syria's Afrin

The multi-sided conflict is raging on other fronts too, with Turkey waging a big offensive in the Afrin region of northwestern Syria, where Ankara is targeting Kurdish forces it says are a threat to its security.

The operation in Afrin - bordering Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces - was widely expected in the wake of Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which cleared Daesh terrorists from Turkey's border between August 24, 2016, and March 2017.

The Turkish army, which launched an air and ground offensive into the Afrin region on January 20, said it had conducted further air strikes on Kurdish fighters there.

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.

At least 19 civilians, including a medic and children, were killed in Syrian government strikes on opposition-held territory near the capital Damascus on Thursday, activists said. The Observatory said the strikes killed seven combatants and two civilians. She added that around 60,000 had been displaced.

The YPG said the Turkish army also targeted a slaughterhouse on Afrin's outskirts, heavily damaging the building and killing hundreds of sheep.

Victoria Beckham Reunited With the Spice Girls Because of #MeToo and #TimesUp
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"Even by Syria's atrocious standards, these are exceptionally deplorable developments — and a cruel irony given that both have been declared "de-escalation areas", Al Hussein said.

More than 270,000 people have been displaced in Idlib by the government onslaught since December 15, the United Nations said.

Russian and Turkish leaders agreed to further coordinate their troops and special services in Syria to combat terrorist groups who are violating the Syrian ceasefire, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

Ankara considers the YPG - the main Western ally in the fight against the Islamic State extremist group in Syria - a terrorist organisation because of its ties to a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. More than 4,000 families live in basements and bunkers for fear of air strikes.

He said that those responsible would pay for their actions. "Schools are supposed to be safe places for children, protected under global law, yet they are being attacked every single day".


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