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Turkey, Free Syrian Army clear town center in NW Syria

05 March 2018

F-16 fighters of the Turkish Air Force are involved in the operation, inflicting strikes on the positions of PYD/YPG on the Syrian-Turkish border.

In the Jandaris area, heavy clashes erupted in Hamelka village where the SDF said they killed three fighters of the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and nine others in Hajiler village, wounding eight more.

Additionally, Turkish warplanes struck pro-Syrian government forces in the region, killing at least 36 of them, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It estimates more than 300 fighters on all sides of the conflict have been killed since the Turkish operation launched in Afrin at the beginning of the year. The monitoring group said the Turkish army was in control of about 70 per cent of the town, 25km northwest of the city of Afrin.

Complicating matters, fighters loyal to Syria's government entered Afrin late last month to support the Syrian Kurdish militia, raising the spectre of a possible confrontation between Turkish and pro-government Syrian troops.

This is the first time that Syrian government forces are deployed in the region since 2012 when the YPG held the area under its control.

Teacher arrested after firing a gun in a US high school
There they found a teacher had barricaded himself in a classroom. "At the time , there is a barricaded subject in a classroom". Two of his friends offered to "take care of her" and he said he agreed, according to a 2016 police report.

Since the launch of the operation on January 20, Turkish military and the FSA liberated 127 locations including two district centers, 97 villages, 21 strategic mountains and hills and one YPG/PKK base. Turkey considers the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish political party in northern Syria, and YPG to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara.

The 50,000-strong YPG has allied with the USA in eradicating the Islamic State group from northern Syria and have been armed by the U.S. since May 2017.

The Observatory says more than 140 civilians have been killed in Turkish bombardment since the start of the assault, but Turkey denies the claim and says it takes the "utmost care" to avoid civilian casualties.

Thousands of civilians in Afrin have fled their homes since Turkey's offensive began.

The Syrian regime has chosen to ally itself with the Kurdish YPG in its fight against Turkey in Afrin, despite being at odds elsewhere in Syria.

Turkey, Free Syrian Army clear town center in NW Syria