Ankara: Turkish soldiers killed in attack near Syrian border

Attack targets base across from Syrian town of Tal Abyad which Turkey seized in military operation last month.

    Defence ministry says Turkish forces immediately opened retaliatory fire towards the source of the attack [AP]
    Defence ministry says Turkish forces immediately opened retaliatory fire towards the source of the attack [AP]

    Two Turkish soldiers were killed in southern Turkey in a mortar attack near a military base in the town of Akcakale on the Syrian border, Turkey's defence ministry said on Thursday, adding that the army had retaliated following the incident.

    The attack took place on Wednesday and targeted a base across from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, which Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies seized in a military operation against the Kurdish fighters last month, the defence ministry said.

    Turkish forces had immediately opened retaliatory fire towards the source of the attack, a ministry statement said, and operations in the region continued. 

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    Turkey and its proxies - former Syrian rebels hired as a ground force by Ankara - launched an offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria on October 9.

    The military action came after US President Donald Trump ordered his troops to withdraw in a move that observers condemned as a betrayal of their Kurdish partners in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group in Syria.

    In its operation, Turkey secured a strip of land in northern Syria after signing separate deals with the United States and Russia.

    Ankara says it wants to establish a "safe zone" in which to resettle some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it hosts on its soil.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies