Istanbul, 11 October 2019 (dpa/MIA) – A Turkish soldier was killed in the cross-border offensive in north-eastern Syria, the Turkish Defence Ministry said on Friday.
This is Turkey’s first reported military fatality in Operation Peace Spring that started on Wednesday.
The ministry said three soldiers were wounded in clashes with the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers to be linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) waging an insurgency within the country.
It also claimed that 49 “terrorists” were “neutralized,” referring to Syrian Kurdish fighters, taking the total number killed in the offensive to 277.
Turkey launched the long-threatened military offensive with airstrikes, artillery fire, and ground troops after a US decision to abandon its Syrian Kurdish partners.
Ankara says it aims to push back Syrian Kurdish militias to ensure its border security and resettle between 1 million to 2 million Syrian refugees in a buffer zone.