Turkish warplanes strike Kurdish militia targets in Syria

Turkish presidential aide US advisor meet in Istanbul

Turkish presidential aide US advisor meet in Istanbul

Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says its military helicopter has been shot down in northern Syria during an operation against US-backed Kurdish forces.

"A little earlier, one of our helicopters was shot down", Erdogan said in televised remarks without saying who was responsible but vowing they would pay a "heavier price".

"This past week has been one of the bloodiest periods of the entire conflict, with wave after wave of deadly airstrikes leading to civilian casualties", UN Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in an official statement.

"We do not have any exact evidence and document regarding whether (or not) it was downed due to external intervention", he said.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and ISIL terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.


Turkish warplanes resumed strikes on Kurdish YPG militia targets in Syria's Afrin region on Friday after a five-day lull that followed the shooting down of Russian warplane elsewhere in Syria, the Hurriyet newspaper and other media reported.

The Turkish military said that two soldiers were killed when its attack helicopter crashed and was destroyed around 1 p.m. local time.

The YPG, which has ties with Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), was the US-led coalition's main ground partner in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

It said two soldiers on board died and technical crews were investigating the crash. There were also reports of the government using of toxic agents in residential areas.

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