Two more Turkish soldiers killed in Syria offensive

Two more Turkish soldiers killed in Syria offensive
Two Turkish soldiers have been killed as "Operation Olive Branch" continues against Kurdish militias.
2 min read
04 February, 2018
Syrian fighters have joined Turkey in the fight against Kurdish militias (Anadolu)

Two more Turkish soldiers were killed on Sunday in Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militias inside Syria, the army said, bringing to 16 the number killed so far in the incursion.

Turkey on January 20 launched "Operation Olive Branch" against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, which Ankara sees as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a militant group which has been fighting a bloody insurgency against Turkey for more than 30 years.

The Turkish army and allied Ankara-backed Syrian rebel forces are seeking to oust the YPG from its western border stronghold of Afrin, but the operation so far has been marked by fierce clashes.

Five Turkish soldiers were also wounded in operations inside Syria on Sunday, the army said in a statement. It did not give further details on the circumstances of the deaths and injuries.

Report continues after map
Kurds control Jazira, Kobane and Afrin cantons of northern Syria - a fact which causes Turkey grave concern

The latest casualties come after seven Turkish troops were killed on Saturday, including five in a tank attack, Ankara's heaviest single-day loss of the campaign so far.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday said that 935 "terrorists have been neutralised" in the operation. It was not immediately possible to verify this figure.

While Turkey, a NATO member, treats the YPG as a "terrorist organisation", the Kurdish fighters have been working closely with the United States to fight the Islamic State group in Syria.

The offensive by Ankara on a US-allied force has raised fears of a military confrontation between two alliance powers.

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