09:28 GMT +321 July 2019
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    A picture shows the Kurdish-majority town of Afrin in northern Syria, on January 23, 2018, as Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies pressed an assault on the border enclave

    Number of Civilians Killed in Turkish Operation in Syria Reportedly Reaches 86

    © AFP 2019 / Ahmad SHAFIA BILAL
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    Turkey Starts Operation 'Olive Branch' in Syria (60)

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Turkish military operation in Syria’s northern Afrin district has claimed lives of 86 civilians, leaving 198 others wounded since its beginning a week ago, the Syrian state-run Sana news agency has reported, citing civilian sources.

    On Friday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), controlling the area, reported the cross-border operation’s civilian death toll to be 59, saying that 134 other individuals on the Syrian side of the border had been injured. On Saturday, the Turkish forces attacked residential buildings in the Afrin area with different types of weapons, the agency reported.

    The Turkish offensive has caused damage to civilian infrastructure, including residential buildings and archaeological sites, the outlet added.

    Ankara started its operation "Olive Branch" in Afrin on January 20. According to the Turkish leadership, the operation was aimed at clearing the country's border with Syria from terrorist presence. Ankara considers the People's Protection Units (YPG), part of the SDF, being linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed as terrorist organization in Turkey.

    Damascus has expressed its opposition to the Turkish operation, saying that the operation violated Syrian sovereignty.

    Turkey Starts Operation 'Olive Branch' in Syria (60)


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    civilian casualties, death toll, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Free Syrian Army (FSA), Afrin, Turkey, Syria
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