Two Turkish troops killed as helicopter downed

Nine Turkish soldiers were killed and eleven were wounded in "Operation Olive Branch" carried out by the Turkish army in Syria's northern Afrin province on February 10, Turkish Armed Forces announced in three separate statements on the same day.

According to Turkish media, Ankara's aerial campaign was briefly halted after Russia closed the airspace over Afrin, as a result of the downing of a Russian jet in neighbouring Idlib province.

Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who have fought a guerilla war with the Turkish state since 1984. It is commanding a joint operation with Syrian opposition forces on the ground, as well, though they have been held to limited territorial gains by the YPG.

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Waves of deadly airstrikes against rebel-held areas in Syria have made this week "one of the bloodiest periods of the entire conflict", the United Nations human rights chief said Saturday. "There is some kind of consensus between the Syrian regime, Iran and Turkey".

A punishing campaign by the Syrian government and Russian Federation has battered the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus and the northwestern province of Idlib as President Bashar Assad's government tries to bring them under control.

In a statement, Turkish General Staff said an ATAK combat helicopter crashed around local time 1 p.m. during ongoing operation in Afrin.

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Some 90 per cent of the Kurdish militias in northern Syria are not Syrian, but consist of Turkish Kurds not related to the Syrian conflict and with aims unrelated to the Syrian Revolution. So we dont know what will happen, what they will do If the Turks advance. But seven years on, the war in Syria shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

The Syrian army could not be reached for comment.

Ankara is angered by U.S. support for Kurdish-led forces. We will resist for our part.

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"The main components of the Turkish-backed groups are Jabhat al-Nusra al-Qaeda's Syrian branch which rebranded itself as Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham, senior Afghan [Taliban] members, and Turkistan Islamic Party from China's Turkic Uyghurs", Hasaka said. "We will have losses but we will also cause losses", Erdogan said in Istanbul.

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