Turkish soldier killed in Syria's Afrin

The Turkish military captured five more villages controlled by the People's Protection Units (YPG) on February 9 as part of "Operation Olive Branch" being carried out with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) after Turkey resumed air strikes following a six-day break.

The HDP's other co-leader, Selahattin Demirtas, is in jail over alleged links to Kurdish militants and is among many leading members of the party imprisoned on similar charges, which they have denied. Turkey launched the air and ground operation into the Afrin region in northwest Syria - dubbed "Operation Olive Branch" - targeting the Kurdish YPG militia.

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.

Turkish police arrested Mehmet Zeki Kilic, the co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) Sancaktepe district representation in Istanbul, said a source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.

"This has created a humanitarian crisis, because the capacities of the region are not enough to meet the needs of this massive displacement", she told a news conference.

Turkish forces were deployed in the Tall Tukan town of the Abu Zuhur province, in the southeastern Idlib de-escalation zone.

The YPG and its allies have set up three autonomous cantons in the north, including Afrin, since the Syrian conflict began in 2011.

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

On Jan.20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin.


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