Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Turkish troops killed in offensive

Patty Aguilar | 12 February, 2018, 00:25

In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said one of the ATAK helicopter crashed at around 1 P.M. (1000 GMT) during the ongoing operation in Afrin. "We have two martyrs", Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in televised remarks.

Ankara launched Operation Olive Branch in the northern Syrian region of Afrin three weeks ago to fight the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia. However, he said that the cause of the incident is still unclear.

In another development on Saturday, two Turkish soldiers were killed after a military helicopter was downed during the Afrin operation.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced earlier that a military helicopter was "downed" in the Afrin operation. We are in a war. "We might lose a helicopter, but they'll pay the price for this". Yesterday, the Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) center in Khan Sheikhoun was also attacked killing three members of the White Helmets, and wounding four others.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, meanwhile, said urgent global action was needed after a "week of soaring violence and bloodshed".

A Syrian man searches for people in a fire following regime air strikes on the rebel-held besieged town of Douma in the eastern Ghouta region, on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on February 7, 2018.

In a statement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on the parties involved in the ongoing conflict to move toward a political solution, which he says is the "only way to end the violence and the bad suffering of the Syrian people".

The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists in Syria, said the Khusham area, near one of the province's largest oil fields, saw intense clashes with heavy weaponry late Wednesday between pro-Assad forces and the SDF.

North Korea's Kim invites S Korean leader to Pyongyang
The 28-year-old is a crucial part of the North's Games delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state. So far, the South Korean President seems keen to take up his North Korean counterpart's offer, which comes as no surprise.

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North and South Korea have shared a heavily fortified border since the Korean War ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty. United States vice president Mike Pence and Kim Yo Jong were seated just feet apart during the Olympic opening ceremony .

More than 20 people died on Thursday as Syrian government planes continued to attack eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, with a barrage of airstrikes.

"The conduct and management of this war has been utterly shameful from the outset, and the failure to end it marks an epic failure of global diplomacy".

The draft resolution proposed by Sweden and Kuwait also calls for an immediate end to all sieges including in Eastern Ghouta.

Negotiations on the proposed measure are to begin on Monday, and diplomats said it could quickly come to a vote at the council.

According to the Kremlin, the state heads noted the importance of continuing cooperation between Russia, Turkey and Iran to promote the Syrian peace process, and discussed trilateral contacts at various levels in the future.

To the west, the Syrian army and its allies captured 17 villages from insurgents in a region where the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib and Hama meet, the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media reported.

The UN Security Council on Thursday failed to back a UN appeal for a month-long humanitarian ceasefire in Syria.

The Syrian foreign ministry condemned the bombardment as a "war crime", an accusation echoed by the Russian ambassador to the UN.

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