Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive

A family runs for cover through the dust cloud kicked by an air strike on the rebel-held Syrian town of Jisreen

A family runs for cover through the dust cloud kicked by an air strike on the rebel-held Syrian town of Jisreen

Speaking in Istanbul on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn't mention by name the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, but said that those responsible will pay for it.

Turkey ordered the arrest of 17 people including the co-leader of the main pro-Kurdish political party over opposition to the military's offensive in Syria, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed. Speaking to members of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on Saturday Erdogan said "these things will happen, we are in a war..." A technical team launched an investigation.

The downing of the helicopter and Erdogan's strong words afterward suggest no quick or easy end to the operation, which has complicated United States efforts to fight ISIS in northeast Syria as well as efforts to end a conflict which has already left half a million Syrians dead and displaced half the country's 24 million people.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on global law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, the military said. However, neither Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies nor the Syrian government's main ally, Russia, has taken direct action against Turkey for the attacks on Syrian soil.

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Investigators did locate a weapon, but McIntosh said it's too early in the investigation to tie it to Bollinger's death. Bollinger was granted a restraining order against Schwartz on December 15, two weeks before she was found dead.

They discussed the possibility of a meeting between the leaders of the three countries, but the exact date has yet to be decided, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov. A stronghold of Islamic State militants until late a year ago, the province also was the group's main source of oil revenue.

The dramatically increased number of airstrikes and ground-based strikes on the besieged Rural Damascus area of Eastern Ghouta, where some 350,000 people are believed to remain trapped, have killed at least 210 civilians - over a quarter of them children and 42 of them women - mostly between 5 and 8 February.

Last summer, the coalition shot down Iranian-made armed drones and aircraft affiliated with the Syrian government in southern Syria, after they came dangerously close to U.S-backed forces and advisers.

The clash marked a fresh escalation between Washington, which has threatened the regime over its alleged use of chemical weapons, and Damascus, which labelled the latest incident in eastern Syria a "war crime".

At least 54 civilians have been killed in the Bashar al-Assad regime's airstrikes in Syria's Eastern Ghouta on Thursday, according to sources from Syrian Civil Defense.

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