Turkish Troops Killed As Helicopter Downed: Prime Minister Binali Yildirim

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Death toll tops 220 in four-day regime assault on Syria rebel enclave

Iran's IRNA news agency confirmed the Israeli attack after it quoted the General Command of the Syrian Army, which said in a statement that "warplanes of the Israeli enemy at 3:42 a.m on Wednesday fired several missiles from inside Lebanese airspace at one of our military positions in the Damascus countryside".

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the United States supports the UN ceasefire call.

"Russia must use its influence with Damascus to ensure the Syrian regime immediately allows the United Nations to provide vital assistance to this extremely vulnerable population", she added. "We might lose a helicopter, but they'll pay the price for this", he said in Istanbul. "We are at war", Erdoğan added.

The death toll mounted steadily throughout Thursday, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights giving 75 civilians dead by the evening.

Three Turkish soldiers were killed and five soldiers were wounded in Afrin on February 10, an initial military statement said.

The Turkish rulers aim to drive the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) out of Afrin and deal blows to the Kurds' fight for national rights across the region.

Meanwhile, Turkish Army and Free Syrian Army forces cleared another village from YPG militants in northwestern Syria, near the Turkish border.

"The Russians fly combat operations over there nearly daily", former U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford told Newsy.

The ministry urged the two sides to force the USA -led coalition to stop its crimes and attacks that have claimed the lives to thousands of civilians over the past three years.

Earlier in January, the US-led coalition announced that it would help create the 30,000-strong BSF, half of which would be made up of the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance. The Syrian government has denied such reports.

He stated: "The past week has been one of the bloodiest periods of the entire conflict, with wave after wave of deadly airstrikes leading to civilian casualties in areas of Eastern Ghouta and Idlib".

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Another statement said four soldiers were killed and two more were wounded.

Eastern Ghouta has an estimated 400,000 residents, who are also trapped by a tightening government siege and critical shortage of medical supplies and food.

That brought the civilian death toll since Monday to almost 230. The Syrian Civil Defence search-and-rescue group said two people had been killed in the Eastern Ghouta region.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday the USA strike wounded 25 pro-government Syrian volunteers.

Negotiations on the proposed measure are to begin on Monday, and diplomats said it could quickly come to a vote at the council.

Two Turkish military personnel were killed on Saturday when a helicopter was downed during Ankara's military offensive against a Kurdish militia in northern Syria.

Veale said they suspect the Syrian pro-government forces were trying to seize terrain from the US -backed forces liberated from IS militants a year ago, including major oil fields in the area. The jihadist group, Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS), the latest incarnation of the former Al Qaeda affiliate, militarily dominates the province.

SANA labeled it an "aggression" and a "new massacre".

More than 800 civilians are believed to have been injured in the same period.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged Turkey to respect the sovereignty of Syria, a local media reported on Thursday. It is also unclear where the incident took place. It added that 60,000 people have fled their homes leading to a humanitarian crisis, and called on worldwide aid organizations to help people in Afrin.

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