Syria regime strikes kill six civilians in Ghouta: monitor

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Two Turkish troops were killed Saturday when their helicopter crashed in Afrin, Syria, near the Turkish border, Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned those who shot down the helicopter will "surely pay a heavy price for it".

"We are yet again appalled by the recent reports of the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons and the escalation of bombings that has resulted in dozens of civilian deaths in the last 48 hours".

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It is fighting the Kurdish People's Protection Units that control the area because they are affiliated to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian arm of the Kurdish Workers Party the PKK, both of which Ankara categorises as terrorist groups. It is commanding a joint operation with Syrian opposition forces on the ground, as well, though they have been held to limited territorial gains by the YPG.

Syrian Kurdish fighters and Syrian state media say Turkish forces shelled a primary school and a water treatment and pumping plant in Syria's northern Afrin region.

On January 18, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the U.S.planned to have an open-ended presence in Syria, in order to ensure that local fighters are able to secure their territory against IS insurgents.Following Tillerson's comments, worldwide law experts such as Professor Oona Hathaway of Yale Law School say long term U.S. presence in Syria violates global law.

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With the backing of Iran and Russian Federation, the Syrian regime has been able to regain control across the majority of Syria. "Two courageous members of armed forces martyred", Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, according to Anadolu.

Idlib is one of the last main strongholds of rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, who have been driven from most of their bastions in Syria since Russian Federation joined the war on the side of Assad's government in 2015. It could threaten to further destabilize Syria, taking the seven-year war to uncharted waters, and potentially reviving ISIS in the process.

The Syrian army could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, things are getting evermore complicated in the country's almost seven-year war. We will resist for our part. United Nations human rights experts said Tuesday they were investigating reports of alleged chlorine bomb attacks on civilians in Saraqeb and the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta.

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