Eleven Turkish troops die, chopper down in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive

According to the report, the Provincial Security Directorate's Narcotics Crime Branch launched an operation after receiving intelligence on a truck carrying narcotic drugs for terrorists.

Eleven Turkish soldiers were killed on Saturday, including two military personnel when a helicopter was downed, in the bloodiest day in Ankara's offensive against a Kurdish militia in northern Syria.

At least 79 People's Protection Units (YPG) militants, Islamic State (IS) members were killed in Saturday air strikes, raising the total number to 1,141 since the beginning of "Operation Olive Branch" in Afrin, the Turkish general staff said.

Ankara launched an air and ground offensive last month against Kurdish fighters in Syria's Afrin region on its border, opening a new front in the multi-sided Syrian war.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who first announced the incident, had indicated at the time that the helicopters may have been downed.

A statement from the Turkish military did not specify a reason for why the helicopter crashed.

It said the operation was being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on worldwide law.

"For the past 21 days, the Turkish army has been violating all laws related to war", Hiddo said.

Iranian, Turkish Presidents Discuss Bilateral, Regional Issues
Erdogan also said a number of western leaders have expressed their interest in taking part in Iran-Russia-Turkey talks on Syria. Last year, seven rounds of meetings on the Syrian conflict were held in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

The country's prime minister walked back on the comments soon after, saying the cause of the helicopter's crash was not yet clear and investigations were ongoing. Turkey has always been one of the main allies of the anti-Assad rebels.

Ankara regards the YPG as a terrorist organisation and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil.

A monitoring group reports seven fighters and two civilians were killed in the strikes on Thursday.

Eastern Ghouta is home to an estimated 400,000 people -the area is located on the outskirts of Damascus, and residents have been living under siege since 2013.

Since Turkey began its attacks, 120 people have been killed, including 26 children and 17 women, according to a statement from the civil administration council in Afrin.

The president, however, did not specify who was responsible for the attack.

In a phone call with Putin Friday, Macron also asked him to "do all he could" to end the humanitarian crises in Syria's Idlib province and the Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, the Elysee Palace said.

"Over 300 primary, secondary and high schools have been closed down", she added.

Latest News