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Backed Syria force denies Islamic State in area targeted by Turkey


Turkish forces might next target the Kurdish-held town of Manbij in northern Syria alongside Ankara's current campaign in Afrin, Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday.

On Monday, the Kurdish-led SDF announced that they are considering sending reinforcements to Afrin amid the Turkish operation there.

Turkey also shelled a city in northeastern Syria, hundreds of miles away from Afrin, according to the YPG. "We need to make sure that humanitarian access is guaranteed and that civilian population and people are not suffering from military activities on the ground", she said.

The US which supports the Kurdish YPG forces in its fight against Islamic State has called for restraint.

The military offensive, together with Turkey's allied Free Syrian Army fighters, has opened up a new front in Syria's seven-year war, which could extend wider still and lead to a confrontation between Turkey and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the US.

'Ankara doesn't intend to occupy Syria, on the contrary, Turkey is clearing it of terrorists, ' Erdogan said.

Washington is sensitive to Turkey's concerns about the YPG but doesn't believe it can carry out the anti-ISIS fight almost as well without the Syrian Kurdish fighters. Adrian Rankine-Galloway confirmed that senior defense officials are in Ankara as part of a U.S. government delegation to discuss security concerns, including the situation in Afrin.

In an interview with Reuters, Turkey's government spokesman said he saw a small possibility that Turkish forces could come face-to-face with the US troops in Manbij.




The draft, obtained by The Associated Press, said UNIMI would determine responsibility for chemical attacks in Syria "on the basis of credible, verified and corroborated evidence, collected in the course of on-site visits".

Russia's United Nations ambassador says U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is hastily accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons this week without any investigation and is "attempting to drag Russian Federation into this as well". They lie outside the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey's military is trying to drive Kurdish militia known as the YPG out of Afrin district.

Asked whether he believes the Indonesian special forces units have reformed sufficiently to merit resuming USA military cooperation, Mattis said, "Yes", adding that the Pentagon will follow established procedures for further easing its restrictions.

He said Tuesday that Russian Federation is in violation of a 2013 agreement it made with the USA on the removal of chemical weapons from Syria and is helping the Syrian government to breach the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans their use.

Erdogan said that Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters have killed at least 268 Syrian Kurdish fighters since the operation against the Afrin enclave was launched on January 20. That's what the unraveling US relationship with "NATO partner" Turkey has come to: military brinkmanship... "If the United States doesn't stop this, we will stop it", Cavusoglu was reported as saying on Tuesday.

Ryabkov's remarks came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Moscow "ultimately bears responsibility for the victims" of a new suspected chemical attack outside the Syrian capital Damascus.

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