‘More civilians killed’ as Turkey pursues Syria campaign

A picture taken on January 28, 2018, in the city of Afrin shows smoke billowing from surrounding areas during the Turkish military operation against the Kurdish enclave – Credit: AFP

Clashes and air strikes again hit Syria’s border region of Afrin on Monday, with new civilian casualties reported as Turkey pursued an offensive against Kurdish forces.

The operation, launched on January 20, sees Turkey providing air and ground support to Syrian opposition fighters in an offensive against Kurdish militia in northwestern Syria.

Ankara, which considers the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria a “terror” group, has vowed to continue and possibly expand the operation despite international concern and strained relations with Washington.

In reaction to the offensive, the Kurds have said they will not attend peace talks aimed at resolving Syria’s long civil war which will be held Tuesday in the Russian city of Sochi.

Turkish air strikes and artillery fire were continuing Monday in northern and western parts of a Afrin, a predominantly Kurdish region of Syria on the border with Turkey, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

“Fighting has intensified on several fronts,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Observatory, which uses a network of long-established sources to monitor Syria’s war.

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Source: AFP|Daily Mail UK

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