Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Turkish, Free Syrian Army forces free village in Afrin

Turkish, Free Syrian Army forces free village in Afrin

The U.S. comments come after claims by the head of Afrin hospital in northern Syria that six men were treated late on February 16 after shelling and had symptoms that appeared to indicate exposure to toxic agents, including "enlarged pupils" and "breathing difficulties".

Kurdish forces in Syria and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights have reported a suspected gas attack in the country carried out by Turkish forces Friday.

Syrian Kurdish forces and the Damascus government have reached an agreement for the Syrian army to enter the Afrin region to help repel a Turkish offensive, a senior Kurdish official said on Sunday.

"We are aware of the reports but we can not confirm them", said the White House official, who wished to remain anonymous, referring to recent claims of the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish military.

USA national security adviser H.R. McMaster, speaking at the Munich Security Conference on February 17, said public reports "clearly show" that Assad's forces are continuing to use chemical weapons.

The military also said, "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming any civilians.

The Turkish military has once again denied allegations that civilians were being killed in the operation in a statement on Saturday.

However, Syria has previously threatened to respond to Turkey's aggression against the Kurds as Ankara's military incursion, dubbed "Operation Olive Branch", in the Kurdish-held Afrin region has been going on for a month.

Turkey considers the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), active in Syria, and its armed wing YPG, to be "terrorist groups" with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The Syrian government has allowed some Kurdish fighters, civilians and politicians to reach Afrin through its territory, representatives of both sides have told Reuters in recent weeks.

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