Two Turkish officers killed in Kurdish militant attack in northern Syria

Two Turkish officers killed in Kurdish militant attack in northern Syria
Two Turkish police officers have been killed in an attack by Kurdish militants near the city of Azaz in northern Syria, Turkey’s interior ministry has announced.
2 min read
11 October, 2021
Turkish troops have been present in northern Syria since 2016 [file photo-Getty]

Two Turkish police officers were killed in northern Syria and two others injured on Sunday in a missile attack by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), the Turkish interior ministry has said.

YPG militants used a guided missile to target an armoured vehicle carrying the police officers near Azaz in northern Syria, the ministry said.

It said that one officer had been killed immediately in the attack while another died of his wounds later on in an area that contains a large Turkish military presence.

Sharif Halabi, a local activist, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that Turkish forces shelled YPG positions in the Sheikh Issa area after the attack.

Last month two Turkish soldiers were killed and three others injured in an attack in Syria's Idlib province

In 2016 Turkish forces, along with Syrian militias allied with them, launched Operation Euphrates Shield to drive out Islamic State group militants from areas near the Turkish border in northern Syria.

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In 2018 and 2019 Turkey and its allied Syrian militias launched two further operations in northern Syria against militants from the YPG.

Turkey accuses the YPG of being allied with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which seeks autonomy or independence for Turkey’s Kurdish minority and has been in conflict with the Turkish state since 1984.

The YPG is the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a militia coalition that has received support from the US before and fought against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

The SDF still controls most of northeastern Syria.