Turkish president says helicopter downed in northern Syria

Turkish president says helicopter downed in northern Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed to strengthen coordination between the two countries' military and security services in Syria in the fight against terrorism, the Kremlin said in a statement.

"A little while ago, one of our helicopters was downed", Erdogan said.

Turkish forces claim that hundreds of Kurdish militia fighters have been "neutralized" in a series of military sorties, while militias such as the the YPG had before Saturday claimed more than a dozen Turkish casualties.

"We don't have exact evidence or document to determine that it went down with any outside interference", Binali Yildirim told reporters in the western province of Mugla.

Ankara says the YPG is a "terrorist" offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency inside Turkey and is blacklisted by Washington and the EU.

The Turkish military said that two soldiers were killed when its attack helicopter crashed and was destroyed around 1 p.m. local time.


Flag-wrapped coffin of Ahmet Bayram, a Turkish soldier who was killed during the military operation against Syria's Afrin region, is carried by honour guards during his funeral ceremony in Hatay, Turkey February 4, 2018.

Syria's official state-run news agency SANA confirmed the deaths Thursday and labeled the strike an "aggression" and "new massacre".

"One of the two Atak helicopters of ours operating on Afrin region unfortunately collapsed". Turkey has always been one of the main allies of the anti-Assad rebels.

Eastern Ghouta is home to an estimated 400,000 people -the area is located on the outskirts of Damascus, and residents have been living under siege since 2013.

Al Hussein said the prevailing climate of impunity and the paralysis of the U.N.Security Council, divided between allies and foes of the Syrian government, calls for the Syrian conflict to be referred to the International Criminal Court, and a more concerted effort by the parties involved to bring about peace.

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