Turkish helicopter downed in Syria's Afrin - Erdogan

Artwork by Iranian magazine Atate Mandegar depicting Turkey's attack on Afrin

France demanded an end to air strikes in Syria on Friday as warplanes mounted further attacks on a rebel stronghold near Damascus where a war monitor said government bombardments have killed 229 people, the deadliest week in the area since 2015. The Syrian government was accused of using chemical weapons more than 175 times.

The UN humanitarian coordinator, Panos Moumtzis, has made this appeal but with no avail.

Among them were at least 58 children, the Observatory said.

"That is not realistic", Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters at the UN.

The two discussed the long-term strategic partnership between the United States and Turkey, the White House said in a statement. By the end of previous year, health care facilities had been attacked nearly 500 times since the start of the conflict, mostly by Russian and Syrian warplanes.

It also heralded the violent end of a "de-escalation" agreement, brokered by Russia, Iran and Turkey, to reduce violence in Syria and prepare the ground for peace talks.

Ford was the last US ambassador to Syria and now teaches at Yale University and is a fellow at the Middle East Institute.

The officials said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the summit in a telephone call Thursday. USA -backed Kurdish-led forces have been fighting for control of Deir el-Zour with rival Russian-backed Syrian troops that are reinforced by Iranian-supported militias.

Turkish helicopter downed in Syria's Afrin - Erdogan
Turkish helicopter downed in Syria's Afrin - Erdogan

For almost a month, Turkey has been engaged in a massive military operation in northwestern Syria with an alleged aim of neutralizing a threat by Kurds from the city of Afrin and surrounding areas in the Syrian province of Aleppo.

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.

"Now they are saying that they will keep their presence till they make sure a steady process of a political settlement in Syria starts, which will result in regime change", the minister said during a conference in Sochi, stressing that the USA has "plans of virtual division of Syria".

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.

The officials provided the information on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.

The Turkish president also invited Rouhani to the Istanbul meeting on the Syria conflict. But the recent bombardment appears calculated to punish the opposition for the failure of the Sochi conference, and perhaps force them to surrender the region as the conflict heads into its eighth year.

Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed.

"Fifty Shades Freed" dominates North American box office
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond. The 15:17 to Paris pulled into third place with $12.6 million.

Related News:

  • S.Korean PM hosts lunch for high-ranking N.Korean delegation

    S.Korean PM hosts lunch for high-ranking N.Korean delegation

    Before Pence arrived, Moon's office announced he will meet with Kim Yo Jong , the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un . Abe's call came during a bilateral meeting on Friday before the opening ceremony of PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

    Kim Yo Jong Fascinates, And Puzzles, In South Korea

    Han, however, is not convinced it means anything, saying what North Korea wants most is to reduce pain from global sanctions. Nothing has been settled on any trip north by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
    Paul Pierce Accomplishes Ultimate Goal With Celtics Retiring His Number

    Paul Pierce Accomplishes Ultimate Goal With Celtics Retiring His Number

    I wasn't a flashy player or had the commercials and top-selling shoes, but I was a player who was well-respected. Paul Pierce used to walk onto the court at TD Garden and imagine seeing his number hanging from the rafters.
  • Stock market swing: Dow up 330 points, TSX down 31

    Stock market swing: Dow up 330 points, TSX down 31

    It could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster pace, which would act as a brake on the economy. The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the benchmark for many index funds, also fell sharply after relinquishing early gains.
    PSG must be wary - Zidane hails Ronaldo after hat-trick

    PSG must be wary - Zidane hails Ronaldo after hat-trick

    Speaking during the launch of Nike's new Mercurial 360 boots, Ronaldo believed that Neymar would be the ideal signing for Real Madrid .
    Olympics show US and South Korea out of sync on North Korea

    Olympics show US and South Korea out of sync on North Korea

    At a dinner later on, Kim Yo Jong said she didn't feel like a stranger in South Korea even though it was her first visit. Mr Moon has previously said he will need reassurance from the North that it would help resolve the nuclear crisis.
  • North Korea's political princess heading home after whirlwind visit

    North Korea's political princess heading home after whirlwind visit

    Such a summit, if it came about, would mark the first time that leaders of the two Koreas have met since 2007. They were also served North Korean-style fermented fish and white "kimchi" or fermented cabbage.
    Kim Jong Un's sister met with South Korea's president

    Kim Jong Un's sister met with South Korea's president

    After the game, the entire group walked around to the Koreans' bench to greet them and pose for photos. Also the first in the history was the visit of a member of the DPRK leader's family to South Korea .

    Trump mulling privatization of International Space Station

    Andrew Rush, chief executive of 3-D printing company Made In Space, said plainly that the ISS isn't built for profit seeking. Ted Cruz said last week he hopes reports about the possibility of ending funding "prove as unfounded as 'Bigfoot'".
  • White House quietly working on immigration compromise

    White House quietly working on immigration compromise

    Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has read the classified information both memos are based on. It instead instructed Democrats to work with the Justice Department to adjust the memo so that it could be released publicly.
    Olympics-Snowboarding-Strong winds cause havoc in slopestyle final

    Olympics-Snowboarding-Strong winds cause havoc in slopestyle final

    The qualifying heats were canceled because of poor weather, so the 25-women field advanced to a gold-medal showdown. Norendal didn't improve on her second run, which only helped Anderson's chances at securing the gold.
    JB Hi-Fi driving strong gains with surging Aussie growth, despite NZ decline

    JB Hi-Fi driving strong gains with surging Aussie growth, despite NZ decline

    Total sales in New Zealand dropped 0.4 per cent to $115.5 million ($NZ124.6 million). The group reported a 21 per cent increase in first-half profit to A$151.7m.


Most liked

London City airport closed after WW2 bomb found in Thames
The ordnance was discovered in King George V Dock, close to the runway of London's most central airport, during planned works. London City Airport has been closed after waterfront workers unearthed the device in the nearby river Thames .

Trump's Infrastructure Plan Is Heavy on Promises, Light on Details
That would prevent federal agencies from second-guessing each other and drawing out the approval processes. Trump's program will be debated by six committees in the House and five in the Senate.

Australian sites compromised by malware that forces visitors' computers to mine cryptocurrency
The sites of UK's own data protection watchdog and UK's National Health Service were supposedly hit along with other websites. The problem stems from a website plug-in called Browsealoud that helps blind and partially sighted people access the web.

Barcelona stumble in boring draw with Getafe
Earlier this season, Barcelona defeated Getafe 2-1, with Denis Suárez and Paulinho scoring second-half goals. However, a 2-0 midweek win over Valencia sealed their place in the Copa del Rey final.

Meeting ends between SKorean leader, N. Koreans
Vice President Mike Pence who sat just a few feet (less than a meter) away and seemed to make an effort not to acknowledge them. The North has refrained from further provocations since testing an intercontinental ballistic missile in November.

J'burg ODI: Dhawan's historical ton guides India to 289/7
Chahal had been taken to the cleaners by AB de Villiers in his previous over, which went for 17 runs. History favours the Proteas as they haven't lost a match on the Pink Day.

Arsene Wenger Better on Players than Jose Mourinho — Henrikh Mkhitaryan
However, before the match Wenger explained that the Gunners didn't quite have enough money to sign the 30-year-old. Although it was only 1-0, there was a gulf in class between the two rivals.

Zidane: 'Real Madrid prepared for Paris Saint-Germain test'
Madrid has had a disappointing season and needed a strong performance before PSG visits the Santiago Bernabeu in the last 16. Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo says he can continue playing football "for years to come".

Duke Blue Devils vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Odds Preview 02/11/18
The Blue Devils are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss and 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 road games. No. 7 SC 64, UF 57: Aja Wilson scored 22 as the host Gamecocks (20-5, 9-3 SEC) overcame a 10-point deficit.

USA's Mirai Nagasu lands historic triple axel in PyeongChang
Nagasu knew exactly when she landed it that she just completed something big as she ended her performance with a big celebration. She finished with 137.53, good for first place. "I wanted to make America proud".

India, UAE condemn use of terrorism as state policy
Earlier he met Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and visited the Yasser Arafat Museum where he laid a wreath, the Aljazeera reported. They also signed joint statements, with both the leaders lauding each other as well as hailing India-Palestine relations.

Palestinians to ask Putin to step into peace process
He explained that Palestinians will continue to consult with Russian Federation over any coming initiative. He said relations between Israel and the United States now are "as good as they ever have been".

Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un impersonators thrown out of Olympics
At an Olympic dinner reception created to break the ice between two nations still technically at war, the dessert said it all. The invitation was delivered in a meeting between Moon and the North Korean leader's sister, Yo-jong.

Omarosa Briefly Leaves 'Celebrity Big Brother' House for Medical Attention
Newman joined the show, which premiered earlier this week, after leaving the White House in December. Shah also said the White House doesn't take her comments very seriously.

North and South Korea parade together at Winter Games 2018
US Vice President Mike Pence , sitting a few seats away in the same Opening Ceremony VIP booth, looked stony faced as the scene unfolded.