Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria: Ministry

Turkish defence ministry says two soldiers were killed, two injured in an attack on an armoured vehicle in northern Syria.

Free Syrian Army fighters gesture as Turkish military vehicles drive in the Syrian rebel-held town of al-Rai while heading towards the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria January 9, 2017.
This file photo shows Turkish military vehicles heading towards the northern Syrian town of al-Bab on January 9, 2017 [File: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters]

Two Turkish soldiers have been killed and two wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, Turkey’s defence ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire.

“Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing,” a statement shared on Twitter said.

It said the attack was in the region where Turkey launched a cross-border operation, “Euphrates Shield”, in 2016 to drive away ISIL (ISIS) fighters and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Media reports said the attack was in the al-Bab area.

Ankara considers the YPG, which forms the backbone of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a “terrorist” group linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a Kurdish separatist group in Turkey.

The PKK is designated a “terrorist group” by the United States and the European Union.

Al Jazeera’s Resul Serdar, reporting from Istanbul, said Turkish forces have “retaliated (against) YPG positions” from military posts in the area.

“It seems that these attacks are going to continue through the night,” Serdar said.

Source: Al Jazeera, Reuters