Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Turkey orders arrest of 17 pro-Kurdish leaders over criticising Syria offensive

Turkey orders arrest of 17 pro-Kurdish leaders over criticising Syria offensive

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a TV address: "One of our helicopters was downed just recently".

Erdogan, speaking to members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul, also said earlier on Saturday: "We might lose a helicopter, but they will pay a heavy price for this".

But the state-run news agency Anadolu said the incident happened in the southern border province of Hatay, with the private Dogan news agency saying authorities were trying to reach the wreckage in the Kirikhan district.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

A spokesman for the YPG in Afrin, Mustafa Bali, claimed his fighters had downed the helicopter.

Tukey has launched a military operation against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in the Afrin region since 20 January. The PM also confirmed the aircraft was a two-seater T-129 attack and reconnaissance helicopter.

Turkey has lost 30 soldiers in the operation in Afrin, according to data compiled from the military statements.

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 Pentagon insists it is keeping its focus on defeating IS, but Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday U.S. -backed fighters in eastern Syria faced a "perplexing" overnight assault by about 300 pro-Syrian government fighters whose nationalities, motives and makeup he could not identify.

Food is running short in Afrin as a result of the bombing, said Ebrahim Ebrahim, a Europe-based Kurdish official.

As Turkey's military intervention in Kurdish-majority Afrin, Syria, entered its third week, a parallel public relations battle has raged on airwaves and social media, with varying messages tailored to Armenian and Azerbaijani audiences.

However, the term is usually used for the terrorists who have been killed in the operations.

For much of the war, Damascus and the YPG have avoided confrontation, at times fighting common enemies, including the rebel groups that are now helping Turkey attack Afrin. "I think that is indicative of the state of relations right", said Noah Bonsey, International Crisis Group's Senior Analyst on Syria.

Like this: