Turkey says 1,300 ISIL militants killed in Euphrates Shield operation
ANKARAMore than 1,300 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants have been killed since Turkey launched its military campaign in northern Syria, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Jan. 6.
The military said 1,362 militnats had been killed since the Euphrates Shield operation was launched on Aug. 24, with a further 168 wounded and six taken prisoner.
Turkish forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) had also “neutralized” at least 306 militants of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) during the operation, the statement added. Of these, 291 were killed, four were wounded and 11 surrendered.
Turkey says the YPG is directly linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and considers it as a terrorist group, while the United States sees it as a partner in the fight against ISIL.
The Euphrates Shield operation, in which the FSA is backed by Turkish artillery, tanks, air power and special forces, is currently focused on taking the town of al-Bab from ISIL.
More than 30 Turkish soldiers have been killed in clashes and attack by ISIL since the start of the operation.