Syrian Observatory: Afrin violence kills dozens on both sides

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Dozens of combatants have been killed since Turkey launched an offensive in the Kurdish region of Afrin in northwestern Syria on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Wednesday, citing sources on all sides.

The Observatory said Turkish shelling and airstrikes in Afrin had killed 28 civilians, while two civilians had been killed near the Syrian opposition-held town of Azaz as a result of shelling by the Kurdish YPG, which is defending Afrin.

Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said 48 Turkey-backed Syrian fighters with Free Syrian Army groups had been killed. The death toll among the Kurdish YPG was so far at 42, he said.

Turkey has said two of its soldiers have been killed.

Reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Richard Balmforth