Afrin day 9: Turkish, Russian foreign ministers speak before Sochi
All updates about the tenth day of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin are here.
17:00 Turkish shelling hit mosque, ancient temple, Syrian government says
Turkish shelling of the Kurdish-held Afrin region of Syria had seriously damaged an ancient temple, a mosque, a cemetery, and houses, the Syrian government said on Sunday.
Ain Dara, an iron age temple in the region, was exposed to Turkish shelling, causing significant damage but no casualties, Reuters quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, as saying.
13:30 Syria’s Kurds say will not join Sochi peace talks
Kurdish officials in the autonomous northern Syria said on Sunday they would not attend Russia-led peace talks in Sochi next week because of Turkey’s offensive against the Kurdish enclave of Afrin.
“We said before that if the situation remained the same in Afrin we could not attend Sochi,” AFP quoted regional official Fawza al-Yussef as saying.
Turkey's military offensive in Afrin “contradicts the principle of political dialogue,” al-Yussef told AFP.
11:00 U.S. actions in Syria didn’t match their promises – Turkish govt spox
Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdağ criticised the U.S. administration for not keeping its promises regarding Turkey’s security concerns in Syria.
Ankara accuses Washington for risking Turkey’s border security by arming Syrian Kurdish militia, People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is the backbone of U.S.-led forces in its fight against Islamic State.
“So far, the U.S. official’s promises to Turkey didn’t match their actions in the field unfortunately. Each action contradicted their promises,” Bozdağ was quoted by the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) as saying.
9:30 Turkey says 484 members of the Syrian Kurdish militia killed in Olive Branch
Turkish military said 484 "terrorists" were "neutralised" since the beginning of the week-long operation named Olive Branch; 37 during airstrikes on the early hours of Sunday.
The number of Turkish soldiers killed since the beginning of the operation reached five.
8:20 16 detained for social media posts over Afrin operation
At least 16 Turkish social media users have been remanded in custody across Turkey for making propaganda of Kurdish militia groups against Turkey’s ongoing military operation in northwestern Syria, Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu reported.
A court in Istanbul remanded nine suspects, who were charged with “insulting public officials”, “inciting hatred and enmity among public”, “insulting president” and “making propaganda of terrorist organisation”, it said.
00:30 Turkish, Russian foreign ministers speak before Sochi
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Saturday talked to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov over the phone, Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu reported.
The phone call came ahead of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress set to be held on Jan. 29-30 in the Russian coastal city of Sochi, it said.
(All times Turkish)
All updates about the eighth day of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin are here.