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Turkish troops enter Kurdish enclave in northern Syria

AP photo
A truck, part of a convoy, carrying military pickup trucks with machine guns attached is seen Sunday on the outskirts of the village of Sugedigi, Turkey.
AP photo A truck, part of a convoy, carrying military pickup trucks with machine guns attached is seen Sunday on the outskirts of the village of Sugedigi, Turkey.

HASSA, Turkey – Turkish troops and Syrian opposition forces attacked a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria on Sunday in their bid to oust from the area a U.S.-allied Kurdish militia, which responded with a hail of rockets on Turkish towns, killing at least one refugee.

The Turkish offensive on Afrin, code-named Operation Olive Branch, started Saturday and has heightened tensions in the already-complicated Syrian conflict, threatening to further strain ties between NATO allies Turkey and the U.S.

On Sunday, the U.S. urged Turkey to exercise restraint and ensure that the offensive is “limited in scope and duration.” A statement by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also asked Turkey to be “scrupulous to avoid civilian casualties,” adding that all parties involved in Syria should focus on defeating the Islamic State group.

The Syrian government, Iran and Egypt condemned the attack, which activists said has killed at least 18 civilians in the Kurdish-held enclave in the first 24 hours.

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