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01 February 2018, 12:45 | Clyde Nash
Civilians targeted by Turkish airstrikes in Afrin Jan. 28 2018
The Turkish General Staff announced the start of Operation Olive Branch in Syrian Afrin on January 20.
Reuters reports that the attack took place when "the convoy was in transit in northern Idlib". While the reported number of so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters accompanying the Turkish army has been exaggerated, more than 3000 Syrian rebel militiamen are with the ranks as front-line soldiers. "The main aim is the creation of a "'de-escalation' zone there, under a deal brokered by Russian Federation in August", Reuters reads.
"The whole world knows, or should know, that Turkey is not engaged in an invasion", he told reporters in Ankara, comparing operation "Olive Branch" with a seven-month cross-border Turkish offensive in 2016/2017 against both Kurdish militia and Islamic State jihadists.
A German-Kurdish player previously convicted of support for Kurdish separatists in Turkey has been banned for life, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) said on Tuesday.
Turkish forces kept up air strikes and artillery fire on northern and western parts of Afrin, a predominantly Kurdish region, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.
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Rockets hit two houses and killed one 17-year-old and wounded another person, Anadolu said. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey's incursion into a Kurdish-held enclave in Syria is progressing "successfully" and will continue until the last "terrorist" is eliminated.
If the Syrian Kurdish forces get deeply entangled in the fighting in Afrin, that could force them to shift fighters from the border area, said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brandon Payne, who is stationed in western Iraq, not far from the Syrian border.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Macron said that Turkey must co-ordinate with allies, and that its operation inside Syria must be limited to fighting terror.
Turkey's 12-day cross-border offensive against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week threatened to expand, has strained relations with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.
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