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Hundreds of Kurdish, IS fighters killed in Syria's Afrin: Turkey
25 January 2018, 01:46 | Floyd Cook
Mattis says Turkey is fighting in the wrong part of Syria
Dozens of combatants have been killed since Turkey launched its offensive, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in Syria.
On Tuesday, the Kurdish militia, known as the People's Defense Units or YPG, regained control of a village breached by Turkish forces. Although the Turkish state's abuses have been recognised by the global community, the PKK is also broadly treated as a terrorist organisation.
According to Pentagon estimates, the YPG contributes 27,000 troops to the 50,000-strong Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who are supported by the USA in fighting the Syrian government as well as ISIS.
The Kurdish-led administration of northeastern Syria appealed for a mass mobilisation in defence of Afrin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced calls to halt arms exports to Turkey on Tuesday after reports suggested that German-made tanks were being employed during a Turkish offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria.
Turkey deems the YPG as a terror group belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party.
The U.N. said most of the displaced are still inside Afrin because Kurdish forces are preventing civilians from leaving and Syrian government forces are keeping them out of adjacent areas. It has opened a new front in Syria's multi-sided civil war.
Turkey's foreign minister has announced that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump will speak Wednesday.
He stressed the importance of seeking a lasting political solution for Syria alongside fighting IS and ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Tillerson said Russian Federation is ultimately to blame for any use of chemical weapons in Syria and must stop vetoing U.N. Security Council resolutions on holding offenders accountable.
Turkish Army soldiers form a convoy of armored personnel carriers near the border with Syria, in the outskirts of Hassa, Turkey, Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday said the operation could spill over into the town of Manbij to the east, where some United States troops are stationed.
It added that 22 civilians have so far been killed since the Turkish side declared the beginning of their military campaign against the Kurdish fighters in Afrin on Saturday. It might try to win favor with both Washington and Turkey by agreeing not to support the PKK's struggle in Turkey and instead focus on operating an area of self-rule in Syria.
Trump is also warning the U.S.is concerned about "destructive and false rhetoric coming from Turkey", but isn't specifying.
There are an estimated 10,000 Syrian rebels fighting with Turkish forces, taking on between 8,000 to 10,000 YPG fighters in Afrin, according to numbers from Ankara.
The town of Reyhanli is frequently threatened by attacks from across the border.
Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of a separatist Kurdish group within its own borders which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.
Asked whether he believes the Indonesian special forces units have reformed sufficiently to merit resuming US military cooperation, Mattis said, "Yes", adding that the Pentagon will follow established procedures for further easing its restrictions. Local officials put the number at 800,000. "We would appreciate it and we would urge them to limit the incursion as much as possible", the official said. "This is causing townspeople to take cover in basements". Ninety-one people were detained in 13 provinces in Turkey, state media reported on Tuesday, after 24 people had been detained in other cities on Monday.
Manbij, to the east of the Afrin region, is part of a far larger area of northern Syria controlled by mainly Kurdish forces.
The Kilis office of Gov. Mehmet Tekinarslan said later that two people died a Turkish citizen and a Syrian national who were wounded inside the mosque during evening prayers.
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