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1 Turkish soldier killed in Syria, military retaliates – ministry

An artillery captain Dilek Aygun holds a single channel ground and airborne radio system as she takes part in the "Operation Olive Branch" in Afrin, Syria on February 27, 2018 [Soner Kılınç / Anadolu Agency]
An artillery captain Dilek Aygun holds a single channel ground and airborne radio system as she takes part in the "Operation Olive Branch" in Afrin, Syria on February 27, 2018 [Soner Kılınç / Anadolu Agency]

One Turkish soldier was killed and another was wounded in a mortar attack on their position in northwest Syria on Sunday and Turkey’s military launched retaliatory fire, the Turkish Defence Ministry said, in reports by Reuters and Analdolu Agency.

It said the attack was carried out by the Kurdish YPG militia in the Afrin region, where Turkey-backed Syrian rebels drove out YPG fighters last year.

Ankara says the YPG is a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged an insurgency on Turkish soil since 1984. The YPG militia has been a key ally of the United States in its fight against Daesh in Syria.

“After the incident, targets identified as belonging to terrorists were subject to fire,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry published a photo of the soldier who was killed on its Twitter feed.

According to Turkey, over the past 30 years, the PKK – recognised as a terror group by the US, EU, and Turkey – has taken some 40,000 lives, including women and children.

Read: Erdogan says safe zone on Syria border must be under Turkey’s control

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