Eight Turkish soldiers were killed on Feb. 3 during “Operation Olive Branch,” according to a Turkish General Staff statement that marked the deadliest day yet for the Turkish Army since the operation into Syria's Afrin district began on Jan. 20.
The statement said one soldier was killed in clashes with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and the other in Turkey's southern province of Kilis in an attack perpetrated by the YPG.
Later on Feb. 3, the Turkish General Staff said five more soldiers had been killed in Sheikh Haruz, northeast of Afrin, when the militants targeted a Turkish army tank.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım expressed his condolences in a statement on Twitter.
“They will pay for this twice as much. We instantly gave the necessary response, and we continue to do so,” Yıldırım said.
Immediately after the attack at Sheikh Haruz, an air operation targeting shelters, hideouts and weapon emplacements in the area was launched at 5.52 p.m. local time.
Another soldier, who was wounded in a missile attack on Feb. 1, succumbed to his wounds at a hospital in southeastern Hakkari province on Feb. 3, according to a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
On Feb. 1, one Turkish soldier was killed and five others injured in a missile attack by YPG terrorists which was launched from northern Iraq toward a military base in Hakkari's border district of Çukurca.
A wide-scale operation has been launched in the region to find the perpetrators, the agency reported.
Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” on Jan. 20 along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear YPG and ISIL militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News