US, Turkish forces on course for clash in Syrian town

Commandos raise Turkish flag on liberated Mount Darmiq

Turkey on January 20 launched the "Olive Branch" operation against Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia which Ankara sees as a terror group and a threat to Turkey.

Speaking to CNN Turk on Sunday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said if United States troops wear "terrorists' clothes" and find themselves among "terrorists" of the Kurdish YPG forces attacking the Turkish troops, "there is no chance that we [will] make a distinction at this point".

Turkey opened the incursion into Afrin to rout the US -backed Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the People's Protection Units, which it considers to be a terrorist organization and an extension of Kurdish insurgents fighting within Turkey.

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

The SDF confirmed clashes have taken place in the Bulbul area and reported they have destroyed a Turkish APC armoured vehicle "and killed everybody inside in an ambush in Qarnah village in Bulbul town".

A Turkish-backed FSA rebel shoots into the air near Afrin.

"If [the YPG] do not withdraw from Manbij, then we will go to Manbij, we will go east of the Euphrates", Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Sunday on CNN.

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"We want to have the best relationship with Turkey", declared Bassam Ishak, the president of the Syriac National Council in Syria, a Christian opposition group that maintains a presence in Kurdish Rojava.

Ankara says major progress has been made in the 15-day operation, with nearly 900 YPG fighters killed so far, although it is not possible to verify these figures.

A civilian in southern Turkey was killed by a rocket which was sacked from northern Syria, a local media reported on Friday.

Turkey considers the YPG, the armed wing of the PYD, to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey's mainly Kurdish south-east.

Afrin resident Hussein Cheikho, 65, said he was " deeply pained" when he saw pictures of Kobani's mutilated body but said her death will not be in vain.

In his turn, ex-Lieutenant-General of the Turkish Armed Forces, Erdogan Karakus, stressed that many North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, since 1984, have been supporting the PKK.

Mr Qasemi said any solution to the crisis should be discussed in talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, that are sponsored by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

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