Turkish Military Copter Crashes in Syria, 2 Killed

Turkish FM claims US Kurdish YPG are 'Marxist atheists'

Turkey is targeting the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG in a weeks-long air and ground operation in Syria's Afrin region.

According to Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

The SDF said clashes continued late into the night around Deir Balloot, and claimed credit for downing down a * a href="https://newswire.storyful.com/storylines/*/stories/194884" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" *Turkish helicopter near Afrin. "Two fearless members of armed forces martyred", Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, according to Anadolu.

In one of the worst incidents, a "rolling series of airstrikes" on residential areas of Duma (near the capital, Damascus) on 6 February reportedly killed at least 31 civilians, including 12 women and four children, and injured more than 100 others, including 37 children.

Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Kurdish militant group it regards as a terrorist organisation.

The Turkish army confirmed the crash but did not comment on a cause. Two of them were aboard a Turkish attack helicopter that crashed while on a mission over Afrin.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said a military helicopter was downed in southern Hatay province during the ongoing Operation Olive Branch.

"Of course, these kinds of things will happen".

"We have neutralized 1,142 terrorists, and our armed forces are achieving great successes and protecting the borders of the country", Erdogan noted.

Hundreds of people attended funerals this weekend for eleven soldiers killed in a single day of fighting on Saturday.

In a statement, the military said the Turkish Armed Forces had destroyed 19 YPG targets and "neutralized" 86 more militants during operations since February 10.

Yildirim earlier said Turkey had not launched its operation in Afrin to enter into a war or because it had "an eye" on another country's territory.

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