Turkey says its forces won't stay in Syria's Afrin region

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Turkey views the Syrian Kurdish militiamen as terrorists because of links to Kurdish insurgents fighting inside Turkey.

In a telephone call with Erdogan, US President Donald Trump urges Turkey "to de-escalate, limit its military actions" and "avoid any actions that might risk conflict between Turkish and American forces", according to the White House.

Turkish forces and Turkish-backed Syrian Arab fighters have over the past 48 hours surged into the city in northwest Syria, once defended by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.

Anna Campbell 26 was a volunteer with the U.S.-backed Kurdish Women’s Protection Units
Anna Campbell 26 was a volunteer with the U.S.-backed Kurdish Women’s Protection Units

"We'll continue this process until we completely abolish this corridor", Erdogan said.

Turkey's disaster management agency and military on Tuesday distributed food aid to civilians in 35 villages of Afrin, Syria recently liberated during the counter-terrorist Operation Olive Branch.

A senior Turkish official said tens of thousands of Syrians were expected to voluntarily return to the Kurdish region after Turkey's military offensive ends.

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Erdogan went on to declare "one night we could suddenly enter Sinjar".

Turkey has served notice to the Iraqi government in Baghdad that its forces would attack the major PKK camp on Mount Sinjar near the Syrian border unless Iraq takes action. The letter further said, "As part of the crimes committed by the Turkish army forces, including the ethnic cleansing policy, the properties of the citizens have been looted, their homes destroyed and many of them were detained". The Anadolu news agency said the bomb was reportedly left by Syrian Kurdish fighters.

In August 2016, Turkey began a unilateral military intervention in northern Syria, code-named Operation Euphrates Shield, sending tanks and warplanes across the border. Federica Mogherini told reporters in Brussels that worldwide efforts in Syria should be aimed at "de-escalating the military activities and not escalating them". "After the attack on Afrin, she insisted on being sent there", Abdallah said.

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The march is expected to draw students, parents, and "anyone else who wants to come", she added. If there's an opportunity for my voice to be heard, to do something, I'm going to take that.

She urged Turkey, Russia and Iran - which have brokered "de-escalation zones" around Syria- to ensure the agreements are implemented. More than 1,500 Kurdish combattants have been killed over the past two months, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.

AFAD said it started delivering humanitarian aid to the region on January 29, nine days into the military offensive inside Syria.

Images emerged of torched stores and men, some in uniform and others in civilian clothes, walking out of homes with household goods.

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A commander with the Turkey-backed Syrian forces blamed the looting on "thieves".