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Hundreds killed in Turkey's military campaign in Syria says Russia

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By Tokunbo Salako  with Reuters
Turkey-backed Free Syria fighters near near Mount Barsaya
Turkey-backed Free Syria fighters near near Mount Barsaya   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Russia claims several hundred people, including civilians, have been killed during Turkey's military operation in Syria's northern Afrin region.

Ankara launched an air and ground offensive nearly two weeks ago to target Kurdish militia fighters, opening a new front in Syria's multi-sided war. It considers the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, an extension of the outlawed Kurdish rebels fighting an insurgency inside Turkey.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu agency said two rockets fired from the Afrin region on Wednesday hit the Turkish border town of Reyhanli and killed one person.

Various sources claim high civilian casualties in Syria's Afrin region

Since the onset of Syria's conflict in 2011, the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and its allies have set up three autonomous cantons in the north, including Afrin which borders Turkey.

The YPG leads an alliance of militias, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), that has seized vast territory from Islamic State militants with help from the U.S.-led coalition.