Nine Turkish soldiers killed in action in Syria's Afrin in one day

Turkey ordered the arrest of 17 people including the co-leader of the main pro-Kurdish political party over opposition to the military's offensive in Syria, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday. But in Afrin they have a common enemy and a mutual interest in blocking Turkish advances.

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. Seeking to shield Afrin, the Kurds asked Damascus to send forces into action to defend the border.

Syrian government forces and their allies launched a push into Idlib seven weeks ago, inching closer to a key highway that connects Syria's two largest cities of Damascus and Aleppo.

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

"To the end of a quick conquest, Ankara resumes its campaign of airstrikes", he said, pointing out the asymmetrical aspect of Turkey's undeclared war on the Syrian Kurds with hi-tech, advanced military hardware the former was using.

Erdogan claimed that 1,141 "terrorists" had been "neutralised" in the operation, which includes those captured dead or alive, or those who surrendered.

The Turkish military is making slow gains almost three weeks into the operation it calls "Olive Branch".

The U.S. involvement is a rare example of U.S. forces striking directly at Syrian regime troops. The ostensible reason given is the rooting out of what Turkey considers a terrorist group of #Kurds, who they feel is allied to the YPG.

The Turkish military had not made a statement but a spokesman for the Kurdish militia, Mustafa Bali, confirmed his fighters downed the chopper in Raju, northwest Afrin.

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. Mercy Corps said members of its local relief partners have been killed in bombardment in recent months. "I think that is indicative of the state of relations right", said Noah Bonsey, International Crisis Group's Senior Analyst on Syria.

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

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