Five Turkish soldiers killed, seven wounded in clashes in Syria's Afrin

Five Turkish soldiers killed, seven wounded in clashes in Syria's Afrin

Five Turkish soldiers killed, seven wounded in clashes in Syria's Afrin

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was informed of the incident during a visit to Senegal.

Speaking on Alhurrah, a US based Arabic language TV channel, Lieutenant Adrian Galloway said that the Afrin operation is hindering the fight against the Islamic State (ISIL).

The pro-Syrian government forces entered Afrin last week in support of the Kurdish YPG militia, the stated target of the operation launched by Turkey and allied Syrian rebel fighters in January.

Saturday's alleged airstrike was the third time in two days that Turkish warplanes have struck Syrian militia positions in Afrin.

Pro-government fighters are present on several fronts in the enclave, according to the Kurds.

Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli made the announcement in a speech delivered at Istanbul National Defense University on Friday, adding that 95 villages or hamlets had come under their control during the so-called Operation Olive Branch.

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In addition to Rajo town centre, the Turkish military and the Free Syrian Army have also liberated five more villages from the YPG terror group during Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin region.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that close to 150 civilians have been killed since the start of Turkish offensive, though Turkey has disputed such claims.

Thousands of civilians have fled their homes since the start of the assault, either to the town of Afrin or to nearby government-controlled areas.

The main aim of the Turkish forces is to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The Turkish authorities have rejected a call by the United States this week to implement the humanitarian truce, called for by the UN Security Council in Syria, with Ankara saying the UN resolution did not concern its operation.

The YPG has been a key component of a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance that has been fighting the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria.

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