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Turkish Military Helicopter Shot Down In Syria

11 February 2018

Erdogan, speaking to members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul, also said earlier on Saturday: "We might lose a helicopter, but they will pay a heavy price for this".

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

Russia, Assad's most powerful ally, said on Thursday a ceasefire was unrealistic.

Ankara has consistently denied any civilian casualties, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming his army could execute the mission in Afrin "in several days [if it] used all of its warplanes, tanks, and helicopters, leveling everything coming in its way".

A follow-up statement released on the same day said two more Turkish soldiers were killed, and four were wounded in the military operations.

He said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey found itself in an awkward position because of its partnership with Islamist groups ideologically and security-wise threatening Western nations.

Anadolu and the private Dogan news agency later reported that Turkish troops and Turkey-backed opposition fighters cleared five villages of Kurdish fighters in the Afrin region.

"For the past 21 days, the Turkish army has been violating all laws related to war", Hiddo said.

The multi-sided conflict is raging on other fronts too, with Turkey waging a big offensive in a Kurdish-controlled area of northwestern Syria, the Afrin region, where Ankara is targeting Kurdish militia forces it sees as a threat to its security.

Since Turkey began its attacks, 120 people have been killed, including 26 children and 17 women, according to a statement from the civil administration council in Afrin.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 75 people died on Thursday, three of wounds suffered the previous day.

Food is running short in Afrin as a result of the bombing, said Ebrahim Ebrahim, a Europe-based Kurdish official. "This fighting is absolutely unacceptable".

The air strikes destroyed 19 targets including ammunition depots, shelters and gun positions, the Turkish armed forces said in a statement without specifying when the raids were conducted.

"The casualties of al-Qaeda gangs are about 350 and Turkish army lost about 200 soldiers", he said, adding that the YPG had only suffered 100 casualties.

Turkish Military Helicopter Shot Down In Syria