Turkey's Syria campaign sees more troops killed
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Islamic State (IS) killed four Turkish soldiers and wounded 15 others in clashes on Wednesday.
The violence occurred at the gates of the town of al-Bab in northern Syria where a Turkish-led Free Syrian Army (FSA) campaign was about to enter its fifth month.
In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said an IED attack wounded four Turkish troops earlier in the day, as other casualties occurred when IS militants attacked a location near a field hospital.
With the latest deaths, the number of Turkish soldiers killed in the campaign dubbed the Euphrates Shield rose to 24.
The casualties were transferred on helicopters and ambulances to the southern cities of Gaziantep and Kilis in southern Turkey.
The statement, cited by the private-owned Dogan news agency, said “many” IS militants were killed in the ensuing clashes, without specifying a number.
Though airstrikes on multiple IS targets including gun-mounted trucks, bunkers, and buildings killed 45 militants in and around al-Bab, said the army.
The road to Aleppo in the southwest of al-Bab was also captured by the Turkish-supported FSA.
Al-Bab remains critical to Turkish interests in northern Syria where the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) vie to link the two self-declared cantons of Kobani and Afrin.
The Kurds want to create a contiguous autonomous region stretching from the Kurdistan Region in the east to near the Mediterranean Sea in the west.
In previous weeks, Turkish warplanes targeted Kurdish forces competing for the control of al-Bab in what the US officials described as “uncoordinated movements.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany