UN 'Considering New Resolution' For 30-Day Syria Cease-Fire

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Turkish PM says two soldiers died after their helicopter was shot down during Ankara's offensive in northern Syria. "We have two martyrs", Yildirim said in televised remarks, but added that there was: "no evidence (yet) in our hands to prove that it was a result of outside intervention".

The multi-sided conflict is raging on other fronts too, with Turkey waging a big offensive against Kurdish forces in the Afrin region of northwestern Syria. Turkey considers the YPG to be "terrorists" and claims it is linked to an outlawed Kurdish insurgent group operating within Turkey's own borders.

The United States had until now backed the Kurdish militias with military intelligence, air-strike assistance, weapons, and training in their fight against the jihadist group.

The Turkish military says it has killed, wounded or captured more than 1,200 YPG fighters.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will hold the next Syria summit between Turkey, Russia and Iran in Istanbul.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, said the missiles targeted "positions of the Syrian army and its allies" in the region of Jamraya research facility, which was also hit in December. We are in a war.

"[The perpetrators] will pay a heavy price [for downing theTurkish helicopter]", Erdogan said, speaking at a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's provincial meeting.

Erdogan has been a staunch opponent of the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad since the advent of the Syria War, which has left both Ankara and Damascus at odds on nearly every issue inside the country.

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The YPG said the Turkish army also targeted a slaughterhouse on Afrin's outskirts, heavily damaging the building and killing hundreds of sheep.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom -based monitoring group, 59 civilians, including 15 children, have been killed on Thursday alone in eastern Ghouta.

Another 812 civilians were injured, it said. Turkey resumed its air strikes against Afrin overnight.

More than a quarter of those killed were children.

"The conduct and management of this war has been utterly shameful from the outset, and the failure to end it marks an epic failure of global diplomacy", Al Hussein concluded.

The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire in Syria to allow for urgent deliveries of humanitarian aid, according to the text seen by AFP on Friday.

Nebenzia told reporters at U.N. headquarters in NY he was not expecting a statement from the council, which would require consensus among the 15 members including the United States.

Without getting the military involved, the US doesn't really have a lot of options for fixing things in Syria - at least the places where it doesn't have any boots on the ground.

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