Turkish Shelling Near Afrin After Syrian Government Allied Troops Arrive

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According to local media, since last Tuesday units of the Syrian Army began to enter the Afrin canton, despite the Turkish government attacked those forces to prevent their entry.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said the issue of pro-regime terror groups in Syria's Afrin was "closed for now".

The Syrian Kurds deny any direct organisational links to the PKK - an assertion backed by the U.S., which has provided the militia and allied Arab fighters with weapons and air support to help them battle the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

There are no official records of the death toll Turkey's military offensive has produced, but the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 205 Istanbul-backed FSA fighters and 39 Turkish soldiers, as well as at least 219 YPG members and 112 civilian deaths, have been killed.

"A dozen or so pick-up trucks had come to advance toward Afrin".

"Unfortunately, these kinds of terror organisations take wrong steps with the decisions they take".

The Turkish government considers the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which led an armed insurgency against Istanbul in 1984. It is not possible for us to allow this.

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Does this risk a wider escalation?

Turkey is determined to press ahead with its offensive to drive Kurdish fighters known as People's Protection Unit, or YPG, out of Afrin.

Russia's chief objectives in Syria are to bolster President Bashar al-Assad and maximize the territory he controls in order to weaken the US and divide NATO, Skinner said.

On Monday, Erdogan talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over Turkey's ongoing operation, the fight against terrorist elements and the latest developments in Syria, particulary Afrin and Idlib.

As Damascus and Turkey were on the verge of triggering off a military clash, Russian Federation was speeding its steps to avoid any confrontation between both forces.

The UN says more than 300,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Idlib since December, while nearly 200 civilians are reported to have been killed in government air and artillery strikes on the Eastern Ghouta since Monday.

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