Turkey liquidates over 1000 terrorists during operation in Afrin - General Staff

Posted February 10, 2018

The HDP's other co-leader, Selahattin Demirtas, is in jail over alleged links to Kurdish militants and is among many leading members of the party imprisoned on similar charges, which they have denied.

Turkey's air and ground campaign in northwest Syria - "Operation Olive Branch" - against the Kurdish YPG militia has opened a new front in Syria's multi-sided war and further strained relations with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Washington.

Turkey has 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.

In a statement the military said the Turkish Armed Forces had destroyed 19 targets and "neutralized" 34 more YPG militants in overnight airstrikes on February 9.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven US-backed militants with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as well as two civilians were killed in the attacks.

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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.

"This has created a humanitarian crisis, because the capacities of the region are not enough to meet the needs of this massive displacement", she told a news conference.

The U.S. supports the Kurdish-led forces in the fight against the Islamic State group which has infuriated Turkey, which views growing Kurdish power as a security threat along its frontier.

Turkey on January 20 launched "Operation Olive Branch" into Afrin to remove the YPG, which Ankara considers a terrorist group for its links to the PKK.