03:25 GMT06 March 2021
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    BEIRUT (Sputnik) - The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) repelled an attack of the Turkish military forces and the opposition Free Syrian Army units in Syrian Afrin, killing at least 18 militants, a YPG spokesman Reizan Hedo told Sputnik.

    "Within the clashes in [the settlement of] Khalta, the military equipment was destroyed and at least 18 militants were killed… The fighting in Khalta is continuing," Hedo said.

    The spokesman noted that the pro-Turkish forces had entered Dzhenderes, the second largest town in the Afrin district, however, the Kurds did not allow them to fortify their positions there.

    On January 20, the Turkish Armed Forces launched an operation dubbed "Olive Branch" against Kurdish forces in Afrin, an area in northern Syria controlled by the US-backed YPG, which is considered by Ankara to be an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated as a terrorist organization in Turkey and several other countries.

    Damascus has strongly condemned Ankara's actions, with the Syrian Foreign Ministry calling them a violation of the country's sovereignty. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said later that Ankara forces would clear the territory from the eastern bank of the Euphrates in Syria up to the border with Iraq of terrorists.


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    Syrian Kurds, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Afrin, Syria, Turkey
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