Turkish soldier killed in ongoing Syria anti-Kurdish operation

Turkish soldier killed in ongoing Syria anti-Kurdish operation
A Turkish soldier was killed during operation "olive branch" as Turkish forces attack Kurdish militias in Afrin.
1 min read
22 January, 2018
A Turkish soldier was killed as the country pressed its offensive against Kurdish militia targets in northern Syria, the army said, confirming the operation's first Turkish fatality on its third day.

"One of our heroic soldiers was martyred during clashes" with Kurdish militants from the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia southeast of the Turkish border town of Gulbaba in Kilis on Monday, the Turkish army said in a statement.

The Turkish military launched operation "Olive Branch" on Saturday, its second major intervention in Syria's seven-year civil war.

The operation, with Turkish war planes and artillery backing a major ground offensive involving Ankara-backed Syrian opposition fighters and Turkish tanks, aims to remove the YPG from its Afrin enclave.

Turkey views the YPG as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought a decades long insurgency against the Turkish state.

It is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

Ankara launched its first offensive in Syria dubbed Euphrates Shield in Syria in August 2016 to March 2017, which targeted the ouster of the Islamic State extremist group and the YPG in an area east of Afrin.

A total of 72 Turkish soldiers were killed during the first operation.