1028 militants 'neutralized' in Turkey's Afrin operation: Turkish military

Turkey launched the air and ground operation into the Afrin region in northwest Syria - dubbed "Operation Olive Branch" - targeting the Kurdish YPG militia.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said F-16 jets resumed their aerial bombing campaign late Thursday, striking the northwestern enclave's Mount Bafilun, the villages of Sheik Huruz and Kefer Jenne and the regions of Sheran, Jinderes and Raju, among other targets.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven US-backed militants with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as well as two civilians were killed in the attacks.

Turkish troops and the FSA also cleared Nesriyya Hill of terrorists.

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.

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Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, had called for an immediate 30-day ceasefire in Syria.

Turkey insists that its operation in Afrin is "fully in line with worldwide law", saying that the presence of the Syrian Kurdish YPG in the area is a "security threat" to the country.

On January 20, the Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Free Syrian Army, launched the Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria.

Meanwhile, Oleg Syromolotov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, said on Thursday that the developments in Afrin have been "provoked" by the action of the United States, accusing Washington of planning to supply "more weapons" to US-allied groups within Syria.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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