Turkey suffers losses in northern Syria

06 February, 2018, 15:31 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Finding the true enemy in the Middle East

Speaking to CNN Turk on Sunday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said if U.S. troops wear "terrorists' clothes" and find themselves among "terrorists" of the Kurdish YPG forces attacking the Turkish troops, "there is no chance that we [will] make a distinction at this point".

Of the 16 Syrian refugees who were smuggled into Turkey a year ago, 13 said that Turkish border guards shot at them and other asylum seekers as they tried to flee Syria.

Observers said that the Kurdish people in Syria support the US-led coalition in operations against the radical extremists.

"This is a unsafe moment" for Turkey and the United States, Sarhang Hamasaeed, director of Middle East programs at the Washington-based U.S. Institute of Peace, said Monday.

A total of 134 FSA and Turkish fighters have been reportedly killed while 106 YPG fighters have been killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said 12 terrorists had been neutralized in overnight airstrikes.

He called on the United States to "disengage" from the People's Protection Units and said Turkey will continue communications with "our American allies to avoid any confrontation".

A Kurdish health official said 150 civilians have been killed since the start of the Turkish operation.

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The latest clashes brought to 14 the number of Turkish troops killed so far in the operation, AFP reported.

The Turkish army said it had "neutralised" over 823 militants in Afrin. Military leaders say the danger from Islamic State in Syria has not disappeared despite the terrorist group's recent battlefield losses.

In January 2018, the Turkish military began an operation in the Kurdish-majority Afrin Canton and the Tel Rifaat Area of Shahba Canton in Northern Syria.

Yarar also noted that these weapons had been repeatedly used against Turkish soldiers in Turkey by the fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Turkey's row with the USA over its support for Kurdish militias has raised questions over Washington's long-term plans for Syria and its presence there, which has expanded on the ground despite the declared military defeat of ISIL in both Iraq and Syria.

In his turn, ex-Lieutenant-General of the Turkish Armed Forces, Erdogan Karakus, stressed that many North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, since 1984, have been supporting the PKK.

Meanwhile, five people are recovering from their injuries after rockets fired from Northwest Syria landed into a Turkish border town.

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