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Three more Turkish soldiers were killed Saturday in Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militia inside Syria, including one in an attack on a tank, the army said.

Operation "Olive Branch" was launched on January 20 against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara says are an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), but which have been working closely with the U.S. to fight "Islamic State" (IS) in Syria.

Sinem Mohamed, the US representative of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria Representative (DFNS), made those comments on Monday, a day after the Kurdish administration reportedly accused Russia of backing Turkey's attack on Afrin.

Turkey has been attacking the Kurds in Afrin, in an attempt to drive them out of the region.

Part of a Russian plane that was shot down by rebel fighters over Syria
Part of a Russian plane that was shot down by rebel fighters over Syria

Shortly after their assault began, Turkish forces said they had killed 260 Kurdish and ISIS fighters in the region.

But the YPG has been working closely with the United States to fight Daesh in Syria.

Macron had incensed Turkish officials by saying in a newspaper interview last week that France would have a "real problem" with the campaign if it turned out to be an "invasion operation".

Meanwhile, seven Turkish soldiers have been killed.

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The Syrian government has called the offensive in Afrin an illegal "aggression".

Turkey's first demand is to see the YPG move east of the Euphrates River and leave the town of Manbij, where American troops backing the Syrian Kurdish fighters are stationed, Kalin said.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters on Sunday that 932 rebels have been killed since the start of the operation.

The clashes brought the number of Turkish troops killed so far in the operation to 14, AFP reported.

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According to Turkey, it is targeting the YPG, the main Kurdish militia in the area.

A Syrian militant in the area said the Russian pilot was shot and killed when he resisted capture.

At least 20 videos have surfaced showing YPG forces targeting, and in many instances destroying, invading Turkish tanks and armored vehicles with anti-tank guided missile systems.

"Those who equate Turkey with those marauders under the pretext of the anti-ISIL fight have now begun to realize which one is a state and which one is a band of gangs", Erdoğan said on February 6.

How major U.S. stock indexes fared on Wednesday
But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dipped 0.1 percent to 32,843.20 and China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9 percent to 3,449.93. Eight of the 11 major S&P indexes were lower, with the materials index's 1.21 percent fall leading the decliners.


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