Israel strikes Iranian base inside Syria


A Turkish military combat helicopter crashed on Saturday in northwestern Syria's Afrin during the ongoing operation, and two soldiers were killed, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

The Afrin invasion, launched on 20 January, aims to the prevent the YPG from establishing a statelet on Turkey's borders, which they fear could become a base for PKK attacks in Turkey.

The Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets, said the 35 casualties were spread throughout a number of towns in the eastern Ghouta area, which is devastated by a combination of artillery and airstrikes.

Five of those, including two children, were killed in the region's main town of Douma, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Russian UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia called that resolution unrealistic.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 75 people died on Thursday, three of wounds suffered the previous day.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also expected to visit for more talks early next week.

Akar said Turkey will continue to "resolutely" fight against terrorists in the region until they get uprooted.

More than 200 civilians have been killed since Monday in Syrian regime airstrikes on parts of rebel-held Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, The Guardian reported.

According to Reuters, an unnamed American military official said the strikes killed around 100 people in the Deir el-Zour region.

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More than a quarter of those killed were children. The United Nations decried the "extreme" suffering of civilians in a statement this week, urging a month-long ceasefire nationwide that would allow the urgent transfer of humanitarian aid. Neither the USA nor the Syrian government supports the Kurds' autonomy plans.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to hear a briefing on Thursday and then hold closed-door consultations on the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria and calls for a 30-day cease fire.

Further complicating the situation, the United States troops fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish militias have recently become collateral targets of the Turkish army, which alongside another umbrella organization, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), continues to advance into the Syrian province of Afrin.

Turkey has justified its military operation calling the YPG a terrorist organization. "These sieges involve the global crimes of indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate starvation of the civilian population", said Paulo Pinheiro, the chair of the commission. After two days of discussions, the congress, brokered by Russia, Iran and Turkey, reaffirmed its full commitment to the "sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity" of Syria.

Unconfirmed Turkish media reports had said that Turkey halted flights after Russia closed the airspace over Afrin after militants shot down a Russian Su-25 fighter jet in northern Idlib province on February 3.

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