Turkish General Staff talks elimination of over 700 terrorists in Syria's Afrin

Turkey slams PKK remarks by EP’s rapporteur

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The Turkish government detained all the senior members of the country's biggest medial association on Tuesday, following a statement from the group criticizing Turkey's military offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria.

Turkey says seven of its soldiers have been killed.

Turkish jets were hitting Kurdish positions in the towns of Rajo and Jandairis, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

He added: "The whole world knows and should know that Turkey does not operate with the mentality of an invader". The Turkish premier spoke on Wednesday during a joint news conference with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The Turkish Armed Forces eliminated 712 terrorists of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria as part of the Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish General Staff said in a message January 31.

Turkish authorities have cracked down on public expressions of dissent about the ground offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.

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French President Emmanuel Macron, in an interview with French daily Le Figaro, expressed his concern regarding the possibility of a Turkish "invasion" in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, in Syria, as part of Turkey's recently launched military campaign there.

Turkey launched a military offensive against Afrin on January 20 to drive out the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, which is says are an extension of the outlawed Kurdish rebels inside Turkey.

The Syrian government and a the United Kingdom -based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights organization said on Sunday that Turkish shelling of the Afrin region has damaged the 3,000-year-old Ain Dara temple. The missile attacks were believed to be carried out by members of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Syrian Kurdish fighters, it said.

Two people were hospitalized after the attack.

"We pray that you and the Turkish armed forces will achieve success and that Operation Olive Branch will, as its title promises, bring peace to this area".

So far, Turkey has reported the killing of 712 militants, and the destruction of more than 400 militants facilities.

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