Turkey bombards Afrin, Syria

Turkey bombards Afrin, Syria

One Turkish soldier was killed in Operation Olive Branch carried out by the Turkish army in Syria's Afrin district today, according to a military statement. Ankara has denied such charges. The Turkish Armed Forces have "liquidated 1,062 terrorists" during Operation Olive Branch near Afrin in northern Syria, the Turkish General Staff reported on Friday.

Seven YPG fighter and two civilians were killed in the strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom -based group that monitors the war in Syria.

USA officials said on Thursday that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US -backed militia force, had captured Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, two of four militants known as the "Beatles" for their English accents.

A Kurdish official and top member of Afrin's civil administration, Hevi Mustafa, said the Turkish offensive had killed 160 people, including 26 children and 17 women, so far. The attacks have displaced around 60,000 people, she said.

The latest strikes are the first by the Turkish air force in almost a week.

Presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting in Istanbul, Turkish media reported February 8.

Since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, Syrian Kurdish forces and their allies have set up three autonomous cantons in the north, including Afrin.

The SDF, which is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, has consistently accused Turkey of supporting IS militants in northern Syria, where the USA -led coalition has helped the SDF to drive the jihadists from swathes of territory.

Turkey sees the YPG - trained, armed and supported by the USA to fight against ISIL - as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a bloody, decades-long uprising in the country.

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