Turkish Armed Forces, FSA capture Mt. Barsaya in Afrin

Turkish Armed Forces, FSA capture Mt. Barsaya in Afrin

"I have nothing to add to what I said yesterday about the Turkish operation in Afrin", the Kremlin spokesman told reporters.

In a January 19 press briefing, a senior State Department official told reporters that the USA supports Turkey "in their concerns about a safe and secure Turkish-Syrian border", but is concerned that Ankara's Afrin operation could be "destabilizing".

Turkish troops, accompanied by pro-Turkey rebels, reportedly seized control of several areas in the region of Afrin on Monday, the BBC reported. Turkey views the YPG-which has received United States support elsewhere in Syria-as a terrorist group.

Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels so far appear to have made limited gains since the air and ground offensive began on Saturday.

The attack "can undermine seriously the resumption of talks in Geneva, which is what we believe could really bring sustainable peace and security for Syria", she said, a reference to the United Nations peace effort. The Syrian SDF force is largely made-up of Kurdish YPG units, which Turkey considers to be a terrorist organization. Worldwide aid groups also have no presence in Afrin, which is surrounded by Turkey and rival Syrian forces. Shortly after Erdogan's statement, it became known about the first killed a Turkish soldier during the operation in Syria - he was killed during clashes with fighters of the Kurdistan workers party. Turkey says it aims to create a 30-kilometer (20-mile) deep "secure zone" in Afrin, the Kurdish-controlled enclave that straddles its borders.

Analysts say that could ignite a broader conflict across northern Syria, which could be exploited by jihadist groups including ISIS.

Meanwhile, local sources told Turkey's Anadolu Agency that the YPG released its ISIS prisoners under the condition that they fight against the Turkish army and FSA in Afrin. Civilian casualties were reported.

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The Turkish operation is targeting the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin, to which tens of thousands of Syrians have fled from other parts of the country. This, unsurprisingly, has greatly angered Turkey, which has sent troops of its own into northern Syria to target Kurdish militia groups.

President Recept Tayyip Erdogan has called the operation a "national fight".

Since last week, Ankara has been threatening to launch the invasion in Afrin, following the USA announcement of its decision to start training a border protection force which would include the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

There is growing worldwide concern that the Turkish offensive could ignite yet another humanitarian crisis in Syria. "It distracts from the global efforts to ensure the defeat of ISIS".

A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation statement Monday said it has been in touch with Turkey over the developing offensive.

The Turkish offensive has captured only a few villages close to the border in three days and there are 350 villages in Afrin.

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