According to Turkish reports, seven Turkish soldiers were killed in the military’s Afrin offensive on Saturday. Five of the soldiers were reportedly killed after their tank was attacked by Kurdish militias. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters on Sunday that 932 rebels have been killed since the start of the operation.
President Erdoğan Photo Credit: EPA-EFE
Seven Turkish soldiers were killed in the Afrin offensive on Saturday, according to Turkish reports. Five of the soldiers were killed after their tank was attacked and two others were reportedly killed earlier, one in Afrin and another on the Turkish side of the border.
The Turkish military said in a statement that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) was responsible for the attacks. It is the highest death toll of Turkish troops in one day that has been reported by the military since the start of its Operation Olive Branch.
According to a report in Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said in a statement to CNN Turk on Sunday that his country will expand the offensive against the Kurdish militias if they do not leave the town of Manbij. Bozdag added that 932 Kurdish fighters and ISIS terrorists have been killed since the beginning of the operation.
Turkey launched its offensive against Syrian Kurds on January 20. The troops are reportedly being accompanied by Syrian rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA). As previously reported by JOL, Turkish authorities have reportedly arrested hundreds of people who criticized the country’s operation in Syria. Among those detained were journalists, politicians, doctors and activists.