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'We are at WAR' Turkish helicopter SHOT DOWN in Syria killing soldiers

12 February 2018

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the United States supports the UN ceasefire call.

Western powers have expressed alarm over the government's campaign against Eastern Ghouta, where 400,000 people have been besieged since 2013, facing severe food and medicine shortages.

Rescue teams rushed to Jisreen and pulled three children and a woman out of the rubble.

In Damascus, the official SANA news agency said the local fighters were battling militants from the so-called Islamic State and the US -backed SDF in the area.

The United Nations has been sounding the alarm about the escalating level of violence, and called on Tuesday for a humanitarian truce of at least one month to allow for aid deliveries and evacuations of the wounded.

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The Israeli air force said it has air sorties against more than 100 Syrian arms convoys and vehicles belonging to Lebanon's Shiite militia Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Assad's forces, since the Syrian Civil War began more than six years ago.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia says he has told the U.N. Security Council that the US -led coalition's airstrikes on Syrian government-backed troops were "inadmissible" and "deplorable".

Syria's state media say the USA -led coalition has bombed government-backed troops in eastern Syria, citing reports of dozens killed and wounded.

The PKK is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the USA and the EU.

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At least two civilians were killed in retaliatory rebel mortar fire on government-controlled areas of Damascus, according to state news agency SANA. However, Anadolu Agency earlier reported that the helicopter crashed in the southern Turkish province of Hatay. The jihadist group, Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS), the latest incarnation of the former Al Qaeda affiliate, militarily dominates the province. In the battle, Turkey is relying on Syrian rebel forces that have lost all their other worldwide backers.

More than 800 civilians are believed to have been injured in the same period. After two days of discussions, the congress, brokered by Russia, Iran and Turkey, reaffirmed its full commitment to the "sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity" of Syria.

US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday amid persistent tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Syria and other issues. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

It was not immediately clear when the Istanbul meeting would take place.

Eastern Ghouta and Idlib, a northern province where violence also flared this week, are both so-called de-escalation zones agreed previous year in a bid to pave the way for an end to the conflict.

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'We are at WAR' Turkish helicopter SHOT DOWN in Syria killing soldiers