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Turkish jets resume airstrikes over Syrian Kurdish enclave

12 February 2018

The death toll rose after the bombing of a market in the village of Arbin, where airstrikes killed 27, including 10 children and three women, the monitor said.

In a statement, the Turkish military said that airstrikes destroyed shelters, hideouts and ammunition depots belonging to the YPG and the Islamic State group, who Turkey says it is also combatting in the operation.

Turkey's state-run news agency says authorities have issued detention warrants against the co-leader of the country's pro-Kurdish party and 16 other activists for speaking out against Turkey's military offensive in northern Syria.

The United Nations has been sounding the alarm about the escalating level of violence, and called on Tuesday for a humanitarian truce of at least one month to allow for aid deliveries and evacuations of the wounded.

Another 812 civilians were injured, it said. A spokesperson for Save the Children also said that schools are being hit, leaving terrified children "starved, bombed and trapped".

The U.S. -led coalition said its action in eastern Syria was in "self-defense", citing a major attack on its allied forces and U.S. advisers in Deir el-Zour province by 500 fighters.

Also Friday, Save the Children said in a report that tens of thousands of children are in immediate danger in the besieged eastern suburbs of the capital Damascus, also known as eastern Ghouta, which has been subjected to intense shelling and airstrikes that left more than 200 dead over the past five days. The Israeli air force said it has air sorties against more than 100 Syrian arms convoys and vehicles belonging to Lebanon's Shiite militia Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Assad's forces, since the Syrian Civil War began more than six years ago.

The official state news agency SANA reported on Thursday that the overnight attack hit tribal fighters in Khusham, a town in the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province. As the USA tries to keep the focus on the fight against ISIS - which has been routed out of its former Syrian strongholds - tensions are growing between Kurdish and Turkish forces, both of which are allied with the Americans.

On Wednesday, the US-led coalition said it was forced to retaliate against "pro-regime" forces after foreign troops embedded with the SDF allegedly came under fire east of the Euphrates River.

The position on the resolution of Syria 's ally Russian Federation was not yet known.

The Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have reacted strongly to people who oppose the operation, and prosecutor's offices have initiated investigations into people who share social media messages critical of the operation.

It was not immediately clear when the Istanbul meeting would take place. It added that 60,000 people have fled their homes leading to a humanitarian crisis, and called on worldwide aid organizations to help people in Afrin.