ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Warplanes belonging to the Syrian Arab Army on Thursday killed at least three Turkish soldiers and wounded 10 others in an airstrike in northern Syria, according to Turkey’s General Staff.
In an announcement on its website, the Turkish Armed Forces said the air attack on one of its units participating in the Operation Euphrates Shield occurred at 3:30 a.m. Turkish time.
There was no comment by the Syrian Army or government officials at the time of publishing this report.
The morning announcement did not specify an exact location for the attack which came as Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) units continued fighting the Islamic State (IS) group on the outskirts of the city of al-Bab, north of Aleppo.
If confirmed, the killing of Turkish soldiers by the Syrian forces would be a first since late August when Turkey and the FSA commenced the operation with the dual aim of fighting IS and containing Kurdish territorial expansion.
Damascus had previously condemned the Turkish incursion on its soil, calling it a violation of its sovereignty.
However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights disputed the Turkish account of the incident, saying the attack on Turkish forces was an IS suicide car bomb, according to the Associated Press.
The Turkish Army transferred its casualties, one of them heavily injured, to the city of Gaziantep on the border with Syria.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), citing national security, ordered a media ban on news of the attack and called on people not to heed reports except official releases.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany