Turkish warplanes strike Kurdish militia targets in Syria: army

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara Turkey

The HDP's other co-leader, Selahattin Demirtas, is in jail over alleged links to Kurdish militants and is among many leading members of the party imprisoned on similar charges, which they have denied. The incursion has opened a new front in Syria's multi-sided war and further strained relations with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Washington.

The airstrikes destroyed 19 targets including ammunition depots, shelters and gun positions, the armed forces said in a statement without specifying when the raids were conducted.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven US-backed militants with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as well as two civilians were killed in the attacks.

The military convoy headed south in the Idlib-Afrin zone after passing the Turkish-Syrian border late Friday, the correspondent said. The attacks have displaced around 60,000 people, she added.

Ankara had halted air strikes as Russian Federation worked on its air defense system after one of its warplanes were shot down by Syrian rebels in Idlib province on February 3.

Their territory has expanded since they joined forces with the United States to fight Islamic State militants - although Washington opposes the Kurds' autonomy plans, as does Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The SDF, which is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, has consistently accused Turkey of supporting IS militants in northern Syria, where the US -led coalition has helped the SDF to drive the jihadists from swathes of territory.

The YPG is designated by Ankara as a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

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