Turkey's offensive in Syria

A young boy waits at a check point near Afrin

The remarks were made a day after Turkish soldiers, backed by members of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) militia, captured the city of Afrin, the main population center in the region, from Kurdish militants, particularly those of the YPG.

Turkey's state-run news agency said 11 people - seven civilians and four Turkish-backed Syrian fighters - were killed in an explosion in a building in the town center as it was being cleared of booby traps.

The United States calls on all relevant actors operating in the northwest, including Turkey, Russia, and the Syrian Regime, to provide access for worldwide humanitarian organizations, facilitate the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance to those displaced by the violence, and develop a coordinated program for the safe and voluntary return of people to their homes in Afrin City as soon as possible.

An air strike by Turkish warplanes "neutralized" at least 12 militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the military said on Twitter on Wednesday.

Turkey's president on Monday vowed to expand military operations across northern Syria and even into neighboring Iraq after his forces drove Syrian Kurdish fighters from the northern Syrian town of Afrin.

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AFP reporters said fighters broke into shops, restaurants and houses and left with foodstuff, electronic equipment, blankets and other goods.

The United States does not operate in the area of northwest Syria, where Afrin is located.

Damascus has on several occasions accused Turkey of supporting "terrorist" group and criticized for its military offensive on Syrian soil.

Erdogan insisted Turkey had no intention of "occupying" Syria, saying it was merely clearing the border area of terrorists.

Some 200,000 people fled Afrin in recent days as the Turkish offensive escalated, and whether they will be permitted to return remains a question.

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Many feared revenge attacks, amid reports of looting and abuse of residents in the town.

"Further operations beyond the border regions will draw in more forces and further exacerbate an already deteriorating humanitarian situation", Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

The US State Department also expressed concern over the humanitarian ramifications of the Turkish operation in Afrin.

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