Five Turkish soldiers killed, nine wounded in Syria’s al-Bab
GAZİANTEPFive Turkish soldiers were killed and nine others were wounded in an Islamic State Iraq and Levant (ISIL) attack in the al-Bab area of northern Syria on Jan. 20, according to the Turkish army.
The attack was staged with a bomb-laden vehicle by ISIL militants at 1:40 p.m. Wounded soldiers were taken to hospital immediately, said a written statement from the Turkish Armed Forces.
Meanwhile, some 2,255 terrorists have been killed, wounded or captured in northern Syria in the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation, the Turkish military said in a statement on Jan. 20, which marked the 150th day of the campaign launched to eliminate terror threats along Turkey’s southern border.
Ankara’s Euphrates Shield operation has “neutralized” a total of 1,940 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants and 315 Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) militants, the Turkish General Staff said in a weekly briefing note.
The operation has been focused on the ISIL-held town of al-Bab since early December last year. Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters backed by the Turkish army have reached the town’s western and northern outskirts, the statement said. On Jan. 19, they took control of the village of Suflaniyah.
The military said 227 residential areas and 1,875 square kilometers (724 square miles) of land had been secured along northern Syria’s Azaz-Jarabulus corridor that runs parallel with the Turkish frontier.
Turkish Air Forces had hit 1,237 targets and disarmed more than 3,000 improvised explosive devices and 43 land mines.
Turkey launched its ongoing Euphrates Shield operation on Aug. 24, 2016, to clear its border with Syria of terror groups which include ISIL, the PYD and its military wing, People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it sees as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with which it has been in war with since the mid-1980s.
More than 1,200 security forces personnel and civilians, including women and children, have lost their lives in PKK attacks in Turkey since July 2015, when the group resumed its decades-old armed war by bringing an end to a more than two-year-old resolution process.