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    Turkish soldiers and tanks are pictured in a village on the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep province, Turkey January 22, 2018

    Syrian Kurds Force Turkish Army to Retreat From its Territory - Representative

    © REUTERS / Osman Orsal
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    During the fighting, the Syrian Kurds forced Turkish troops and Ankara-backed rebels to retreat from their territory, representative of the Syrian Kurdistan in Moscow, Rodi Osman, told RIA Novosti.

    "Turkish forces and related groups tried to cross over to the territory of the Syrian city of Afrin with the support of the Air Force and missile strikes. However, the Syrian Democratic Forces struck at five positions," Osman said.

    As a result, Turkish forces "had to retreat from the territory of Afrin," the Syrian Kurds' representative in Moscow said. "Those areas to which they crossed, they left, as the Kurds struck and forced them to retreat," Osman said.

    According to the representative, a total of 17 civilians have been killed and 28 injured as clashes and airstrikes are underway in Afrin.

    Earlier in the day, he stated that 10 Turkish soldiers and about 20 related groups were killed during the fighting.

    However, according to Anadolu news agency, the Armed Forces of Turkey, with the support of the Free Syrian Army, have established control over 11 positions taken from Kurdish forces during the day of the military operation in the Afrin enclave in northern Syria.

    Using tanks and air support, the Turkish army has occupied the settlements of Shankal, Korne, Bali, Ada, Manli, the agricultural regions of Kit, Cordoba and Bibno, as well as four hills in the Afrin area.

    The soldiers of the Free Syrian Army participating in the military operation against the Syrian Kurds in the north of the country, and have issued a video message to the local population.

    "You are our friends and our family. We are here to put an end to the persecution. Our enemy is the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)," the message says.

    READ MORE: Erdogan Vows to Eliminate PKK, YPG, PYD, Urges US to Refrain From Provocations

    The Turkish Operation in Africa in the north of Syria dubbed the "Olive Branch" began on Saturday with air raids and shelling. On Sunday, it moved to the ground phase with the use of tanks and other armored vehicles.

    Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that his troops will destroy the Kurdish militia in Syria, which is supported by the United States. Syria's President Assad has condemned the Turkish "brutal attack " and accused Ankara of supporting terrorism.

    Related:

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    Turkey to Create 30-Km Security Zone in Syria, PM Confirms Start of Ground Op
    Olive Branch: Turkey Preparing Ground Offensive Against YPG in Syria - Reports
    Tags:
    Syrian Kurds, Free Syrian Army (FSA), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Syria
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