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Turkish forces hit PKK/PYD targets in northern Syria
11 February 2018, 06:20 | Regina Holmes
Airstrikes kill 54 civilians in Syria's Eastern Ghouta
Syria's official state-run news agency SANA confirmed the deaths Thursday and labeled the strike an "aggression" and "new massacre".
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.
The Kurdish Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, which has administered the Afrin area since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2012, and its People's Protection Forces (YPG) have accused Turkish forces of a variety of abuses, including killing civilians in air strikes.
After Erdogan declared "one of our helicopters was also downed", the Turkish prime minister said that the cause of the helicopter's crash was not yet clear and investigations were ongoing.
The YPG released a video that they alleged showed the helicopter being downed. dpa could not independently verify the content.
"For the past 21 days, the Turkish army has been violating all laws related to war", Hiddo said.
The Turkish News Agency has admitted that so far 19 soldiers have been killed and now an Augusta Westland T129 advanced attack helicopter has been shot down. The military says it has "neutralised" more than 1,100 "terrorists" in Afrin.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, says at least 68 civilians have been killed.
Turkey agreed to set up 12 observation posts in Idlib and neighbouring provinces under a deal reached with Tehran and Moscow to try to reduce fighting between pro-government forces and mainly Islamist insurgents in northwest Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the remarks during a telephone conversation, according to a Kremlin statement, Xinhua reported.
The YPG is designated by Ankara as a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.
Afrin-based Kurdish official Rezan Hiddo said by telephone that Turkish warplanes hit 23 points, adding that Turkey's artillery in three areas near Afrin have been pounding the town. Mercy Corps said members of its local relief partners have been killed in bombardment in recent months.
"Excuse me but no state would ignore a terror organisation growing like a tumour next to it", he said.
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