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Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party says Ankara is lying about ‘no civilian deaths’ in Afrin

Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party accused the government of “spreading misinformation” on Thursday about causing no civilian deaths in its offensive in Syria, calling on Ankara to halt the military operation. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said earlier in the day that no civilian had been killed in Turkey’s air and ground campaign in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria. Pervin Buldan, the newly elected co-head of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), told reporters in Istanbul that many civilians had died in Afrin, including women and children, AFP reports. Buldan added that Turkey will “gain nothing” from the offensive. Ankara says it is fighting the YPG, describing it as a “terrorist” offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “The world knows that the YPG is part of the SDF which fought” Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), said Sezai Temelli, HDP’s other co-leader. “We believe the SDF should be part of a peace resolution in Syria.”