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Turkey says 'Olive Branch' to continue until terrorists eliminated

Ankara claims it's taking all measures to prevent civilian casualties

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Turkey says 'Olive Branch' to continue until terrorists eliminated

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Turkey claims to have killed at least 260 Syrian Kurdish fighters in it's "Olive Branch" operation into neighbouring northwest Syria.

The offensive into the Kurdish-dominated Afrin region has entered its fifth day and will continue, Ankara says until all "terrorists are fully eliminated".

The US which supports the Kurdish YPG forces in its fight against Islamic State has called for restraint.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert:

"As we are concerned about destabilizing activities in northwest Syria, I want to make this clear as well that Turkey is an important NATO ally and as an important NATO we understand, fully understand, Turkey's concerns about different terrorist organizations. We understand their concerns about the PKK, so we're having conversations with the Turkish government about addressing those concerns but also trying to bring stability, and encourage them to deescalate tensions."

Meanwhile President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attended the funeral of one of two Turkish soldiers killed in fighting.

Erdogan is angry at US support for the YPG which he claims is linked to Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.

The offensive has triggered protests in both Syria and some European capitals with concerns raised about civilians.

Erdogan has told foreign leaders all measures are being taken to prevent civilian casualties claiming only combatants are being targeted.