Turkish president says helicopter downed in Syria

The Syrian Foreign Ministry also doubled down, calling the USA strikes "new aggression that poses a war crime and a crime against humanity".

SANA said earlier that forces of the US-led worldwide coalition targeted popular forces that were fighting the Islamic State group and the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour.

The deadliest strikes hit a market in the town of Erbin and killed 21 civilians including nine children.

But Russia is busy with its own bombing campaigns. Israel's military has refused to acknowledge it was shot down.

Turkey has detained hundreds of people in the past two weeks for allegedly engaging in terrorist propaganda for speaking out against the Turkish military offensive against the enclave of Afrin aimed at rooting out Syrian Kurdish militia.

The United States demanded Thursday that the Syrian regime and Russian forces put an end to their latest round of air strikes and alleged chemical attacks against besieged civilians. It noted that the government-backed Syrian forces had failed to coordinate their action with the Russian military prior to launching the mission.

Officials portrayed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's trip to Cairo, Kuwait City, Amman, Beirut and Ankara as a chance to build on US-led successes against the ISIL group.

"I would like to confirm that all the fatalities and the injured are civilians".

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The Observatory said the eastern Ghouta death toll from four days of bombardment has reached 229, including 58 children.

The Council is expected to begin debate on the resolution Monday.

The president also said the Turkish Armed Forces "destroyed many missile depots" of the Kurdish militias they are battling in the Afrin region.Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim later told journalists that two soldiers were killed in the crash.

The U.S. involvement is a rare example of U.S. forces striking directly at Syrian regime troops.

On Wednesday, the US-led coalition said it was forced to retaliate against "pro-regime" forces after foreign troops embedded with the SDF allegedly came under fire east of the Euphrates River.

SANA labeled it an "aggression" and a "new massacre". The state Al-Ikhbariyah TV said there were reports that dozens were killed. Once the U.S. chose to partner with the Kurds in northern Syria and provide them with weapons and training, Turkey felt it had no choice but to ally itself with Russian Federation.

Unconfirmed Turkish media reports had said that Turkey halted flights after Russia closed the airspace over Afrin after militants shot down a Russian Su-25 fighter jet in northern Idlib province on February 3.

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