Syria's Eastern Ghouta Suffers Bloodiest Week Since 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

The SDF and the coalition targeted the attacking forces with air strikes and shelling after "20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 metres (yards) of the SDF headquarters location", a U.S. official said. Two soldiers were killed in the incident.

On Tuesday, UN officials appealed for an immediate cessation of hostilities, lasting for at least one month throughout Syria, to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid and services to besieged areas, and the evacuation of the critically ill.

But the U.S. has taken a different view to the YPG, providing it with weapons in the Syrian group's battle against Islamic State militants.

While U.N. officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.

Syrian rescue workers and activists say at least 19 civilians, including a medic and children, have been killed in relentless government strikes on the opposition-held region near the capital Damascus.

Ankara labels the US-backed Kurdish forces a "terrorist organization" and is angry with Washington's support for the YPG.

The doctor in Eastern Ghouta listed the casualties of a bloody day.

The conflict in Syria has seen more than 300,000 people killed and millions more displaced since it began in early 2011.

De-escalation zone in Syria's Afrin discussed at Astana peace talks
11 Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive

The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost importance" is being put on avoiding harming civilians. It said the dead includes a medic and at least three children and eight women.

The incident underscores the potential for further conflict in Syria's oil-rich east, where the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias holds swathes of land after its offensive against Islamic State.

Turkish jets on February 11 destroyed targets in northwestern Syria within the range of the southern Turkish border district of Hatay.

For almost a month, Turkey has been engaged in a massive military operation in northwestern Syria with an alleged aim of neutralizing a threat by Kurds from the city of Afrin and surrounding areas in the Syrian province of Aleppo.

SANA called it an "aggression".

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

Gen. McMaster, who led the USA delegation during the two-day diplomatic visit to Turkey, "discussed the priorities and concerns of both countries ... their common strategic challenges and regional developments" with İbrahim Kalın, spokesman and special adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a White House readout of the meeting released Sunday.

It was not immediately clear when the Istanbul meeting would take place. It added that 60,000 people have fled their homes leading to a humanitarian crisis, and called on global aid organizations to help people in Afrin.

Recommended News

  • Mooy hurt in Huddersfield win

    Mooy hurt in Huddersfield win

    Huddersfield had further chances to put the game out of reach, most notably when Tom Ince headed over Mooy's cross from six yards. Mooy started the match as the Terriers romped home in the second half to get themselves out of the drop zone for the time being.
    Missiles and smiles from North Korea on eve of Olympic Games

    Missiles and smiles from North Korea on eve of Olympic Games

    They were seated beside the Moons and next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife. Moon and Kim Yo Jong had their first face-to-face encounter at the opening ceremony.
    Amitabh Bachchan writes poem after being discharged from hospital

    Amitabh Bachchan writes poem after being discharged from hospital

    Notably, Bachchan underwent an abdominal surgery in Feb'12 at Seven Hills Hospital after which he was admitted for 12 days. Bachchan and Kapoor are seen in an entirely new avatar and the chemistry they share is out there for the world to see.
  • What Is That Mark on US Figure Skater Mirai Nagasu's Thigh?

    What Is That Mark on US Figure Skater Mirai Nagasu's Thigh?

    When the women's competition was over, Nagasu was a surprising - and stunning - second, behind only OAR's Alina Zagitova. To nail it the way I did - and even out of the corner of my eye, I could see my team mates standing in excitement".
    Thousands Of Homes Still Without Power After Freak Storm

    Thousands Of Homes Still Without Power After Freak Storm

    Between 20 and 40 millimetres fell across the region, with Brisbane receiving as little as 15 millimetres. Mr Paech said strong wind gusts caused the damage to more than 500 power lines.
    49ers linebacker Reuben Foster reportedly arrested on domestic violence charge

    49ers linebacker Reuben Foster reportedly arrested on domestic violence charge

    San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested Sunday on charges of domestic violence, according to reports. The charges against Brock were dropped almost a month later due to insufficient evidence, according to prosecutors.
  • Barcelona held by Getafe, Sevilla snatch a win

    Barcelona held by Getafe, Sevilla snatch a win

    Ousmane Dembele , a big-money summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, has recovered from injury to return to Barcelona's squad. Inconsistent in defense, Mina was a constant threat on set pieces in attack, almost scoring with a header in the second half.
    Twitter reacts to LeBron James raining on Paul Pierce's parade

    Twitter reacts to LeBron James raining on Paul Pierce's parade

    Kyrie Irving had 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting, while Marcus Morris was the only other Celtics starter in double figures with 17. James gave Cavs fans a scare when he left the game after suffering an apparent right leg injury late in the first quarter.
    JB Hi-Fi Must Be Still Selling A Lot Of Games And Consoles

    JB Hi-Fi Must Be Still Selling A Lot Of Games And Consoles

    JB Hi-Fi closed one of its New Zealand stores in the six months ended December 31, while opening seven new stores in Australia. Concerning future outlook, the retailer expects full-year net profit to be between $235 million - $240 million.
  • North Korea Invites Southern President to Pyongyang

    North Korea Invites Southern President to Pyongyang

    It took some doing to get to this point, even after North Korea agreed at the last minute to send athletes to the Winter Olympics. We know Kim Jong Chol likes Eric Clapton because he's been spotted at concerts around the world, most recently in London.
    Modi pledges $40 million for Palestinian development

    Modi pledges $40 million for Palestinian development

    After concluding his historic tour to Palestine , Mr Modi reached Abu Dhabi yesterday evening as part of his three-nation visit. Modi will be laying the foundation stone for the temple on 11 February from the Dubai Opera House, via video conferencing.
    Iranian-Canadian activist dies in prison

    Iranian-Canadian activist dies in prison

    Their families, activists and lawyers have rejected this explanation and called for an independent investigation. Human rights groups outside the country have accused Iranian authorities of systematic abuses in prisons.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.