United Nations considers demand for 30-day Syria ceasefire

Some 1,141 "terrorists" had been neutralised during the operation, Erdogan said, referring to those killed but also those captured or wounded.

The arrival of reinforcements is likely to sustain Kurdish resistance, bog down the Turkish forces and prolong a conflict that is sapping the resources of military powers that rival him for control of Syrian territory.

Turkey launched an offensive into the enclave on January 20 against Syrian Kurdish fighters that Ankara considers to be a security threat due to their links to outlawed rebels in Turkey.

"Even by Syria's atrocious standards, these are exceptionally deplorable developments — and a cruel irony given that both have been declared "de-escalation areas", Al Hussein said.

Speaking in Istanbul on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn't mention by name the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, but said that those responsible will pay for it.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said it was "not realistic" to impose a ceasefire because armed groups fighting Assad's forces were unlikely to uphold it. - AFP, February 10, 2018.

It's determined to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish state across the border in Syria and has used military force in the past against Kurds and ISIS in the northern part of the neighboring country.

In Eastern Ghouta, the last major rebel enclave near Damascus, residents described one of the most extensive bombing campaigns they have lived through in the war with multiple towns hit simultaneously and people driven into shelters for days.

Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Mustefa Bali, spokesperson for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces dominated by the YPG, said on Twitter that a helicopter had been hit in the Rajo area of northwest Afrin, near the Turkish border.

The latter is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey.

But tensions have mounted in recent months, with Damascus threatening to march into parts of eastern and northern Syria captured by the SDF with support from the USA -led coalition. It said it had killed 39 militants.

"Excuse me but no state would ignore a terror organisation growing like a tumour next to it", he said.



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