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Afrin clashes kill 54 Syrian Kurdish and pro-Turkey fighters: monitor

Another 19 fighters from the ranks of the pro-Ankara rebels who are fighting alongside Turkey were also killed.

world Updated: Jan 23, 2018 13:19 IST
AFP, Beirut
Afrin conflict,Syrian Kurdish fighters,Turkey offensive Syria
A Turkish-backed Syrian rebel fighter looks through the scope of a rocket launcher at a monitoring point near the Syrian village of Qilah, in Afrin region close to the border with Turkey.(AFP Photo)

Three days of fighting since Turkey launched an offensive on the northern Syrian region of Afrin have left at least 54 Syrian combatants dead, a monitor said Monday.

Among them were 26 Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces that have controlled the region on the border with Turkey, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Many of them were killed in Turkish air strikes, the head of the Britain-based monitoring organisation, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.

Another 19 fighters from the ranks of the pro-Ankara rebels who are fighting alongside Turkey were also killed, the monitoring group said, adding that nine more unidentified bodies were found on the battlefield.

The civilian death toll rose to 24 over three days, Abdel Rahman said.

Two of them died as a result of Kurdish fire while the rest were killed by Turkish shelling and air strikes, he said.

Ankara has denied being responsible for any civilian deaths.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 13:19 IST