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Turkish warplanes strike Kurdish militia targets in Syria: army

Sofian Khan

Turkish warplanes have hit Kurdish YPG militia targets at Afrin region in Syria, informed the army on Friday, and a monitoring group reported that seven fighters and two civilians were killed in strikes.The overnight struck after a lull in Turkish airstrikes after the shooting down of a Russian warplane elsewhere in Syria last weekend.The airstrikes reportedly destroyed 19 targets including shelters, ammunition depots and gun positions, said the armed forces in a statement not specifying any time when the raids conducted – reports Reuters.Turkey had halted air strikes as Russia worked on its air defense system in the wake of the shooting down by Syrian rebels of a Russian warplane in Idlib province on Feb. 3, Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported.Ankara launched an air and ground offensive in Afrin on Jan. 20 against the YPG, which it views as a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil.Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan spoke over telephone on Thursday and agreed to strengthen military and security service coordination in Syria, according to the Kremlin.The YPG and its allies have set up three autonomous cantons in the north, including Afrin, since the Syrian conflict began in 2011.

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