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  • chitianshi520chitianshi520 June 12

    The Turkish army was on Tuesday engaged in intense clashes with Kurdish
    militia inside Syria as the US voiced alarm Ankara's operation could endanger
    attempts to bring peace to the conflict-torn country.


    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed at the funeral of the first Turkish
    soldier to be killed in the cross-border campaign that Ankara would emerge
    victorious from the campaign.


    Turkey on Saturday launched operation "Olive Branch" aimed at rooting out the
    Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia Authentic
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     , which Ankara sees as a terror group, from
    its Afrin enclave in northern Syria.


    The campaign has caused ripples of concern among Turkey's NATO allies,
    especially the US which is still working closely with the YPG to defeat Islamic
    State (IS) jihadists in Syria and fears the offensive will be a distraction.


    In his strongest comments yet on the offensive, US Defense Secretary Jim
    Mattis called for Turkey to show "restraint."


    He warned the offensive "disrupts what was a relatively stable area in Syria
    and distracts from the international effort to defeat" IS, on a visit to
    Indonesia.


    Turkish artillery on Tuesday pounded targets of the YPG inside
    Syria Authentic
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     , the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
    Meanwhile, Turkish drones were also carrying out attacks, state television said.


    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said "fierce
    clashes" were continuing especially north and southwest of Afrin.


    As well as the artillery and air strikes, Turkish ground troops and
    Ankara-backed Syrian rebels have punched over the border several kilometers into
    Syrian territory, taking several villages Authentic
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     , according to state media.


    After intense exchanges, Turkey's forces took control of the hill of Barsaya,
    a key strategic point in the Afrin region.


    The Observatory said 25 Ankara-backed rebels and 26 Kurdish fighters had been
    killed in the fighting so far. It has also said 24 civilians have been killed on
    the Syrian side but this is vehemently rejected by Turkey which says it is only
    targeting militants.

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