Syrian Kurd and pro-Turkey fighters killed in Arin

Syrian Kurd and pro-Turkey fighters killed in Arin

Syrian Kurd and pro-Turkey fighters killed in Arin

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organisation and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decades-old insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast.

In a sign of the risks to Turkey, rockets fired from Syria on the border town of Reyhanli on Sunday killed a Syrian refugee.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has also recognised Turkey's right to self-defence, but urged Ankara to do so in a "proportionate and measured way".

He was speaking after Turkey's military incursion into northern Syria to fight the Kurdish YPG militia at the weekend. The US is arming and training the Kurds as a bulwark against ISIS, but also as an obstacle to Iran's ambitions in Syria; Iran's Kurds would also like to break away and someday reunite with Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

He warned that the Turkish attack on Kurdish troops would only benefit the remaining fragments of Isil and give them space to regroup.

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Without elaborating, he said that Turkey reached an agreement with Russian Federation - whose forces back Syrian President Bashar Assad - over the operation.

"We are here to protect our country's rights within the scope of worldwide law, without harming civilians or property", said Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar inspecting troops in the southern province of Hatay's Serinyol district, with the land, navy and air force commanders.

"An operation by Turkey against Afrin, without there being an attack from there, will lead the country towards civil war if it is successful and will lay the groundwork for a coup if it is unsuccessful", he said on Twitter on January 13.

France has called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss the developments and urged "to act with restraint in a context where the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in several regions of".

Mr Tillerson said on Monday in London that the U.S. recognised Turkey's "legitimate concerns" for its security, and its right to defend itself from terrorist elements.

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Together with regime backer Iran and rebel supporter Turkey, Russia - a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - wants to convene a peace conference with the aim of agreeing a new constitution for post-war Syria.

"I have to admit, I initially suspected perhaps there would be some cross-border shelling, but they would not go as far as airstrikes or a ground invasion".

But Erdogan expressed impatience with U.S. demands to set a clear timetable, saying the campaign would be over "when the target is achieved".

Activists say about 10,000 allied Syrian opposition fighters have been mobilised by Turkey to take part in the offensive.

The Turkish President made it clear that after cleaning the Syrian region of Afrine, the Turkish army would continue its mission right up to Manbij, also part of Syrian territory.

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Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu insists that the claims of civilian casualties from the offensive were untrue.

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