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Turkey resumes Afrin operation in northern Syria

Turkey resumes Afrin operation in northern Syria
From Al Jazeera - February 9, 2018

Turkey has resumed air attacks in the enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, destroying more than a dozen targets and "neutralising" at least 34 rebels, the Turkish army says.

The fighters belonged to the Syrian Kurdish armed group YPG and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, according to the army.

Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported on Friday that Turkish armed forces struck 19 targets overnight, as part of its ongoing operation inside Syria.

According to Turkish media, Ankara's aerial campaign was briefly halted after Russia closed the airspace over Afrin, as a result of the downing of a Russian jet in neighbouring Idlib province.

Since the operation started in January 20, an estimated 1,062 YPG and ISIL fighters have been "neutralised", a term Turkey uses to imply that the fighters have either been killed, captured or have surrendered, according to Anadolu.

As of Sunday, at least 14 Turkish troops have also been reported killedin the fighting.

The Turkish military has said only "terror targets" are being destroyed in the operation, but Syrian Kurds said that villages full of civilians have also been repeatedly hit, with reports of more than a hundred killed.

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