Turkish air strikes kill 23 ISIL militants
AFP photoThe Turkish General Staff said its warplanes “neutralized” 23 ISIL militants in air strikes in the al-Bab city of Aleppo province in northern Syria between 10:05 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 7.
Three ISIL shelters, three headquarters, two checkpoints, three tanks and a bomb-laden vehicle were destroyed in the air strikes.
Earlier, the military said its warplanes carried out a separate set of air strikes in al-Bab on Dec. 6.
Four ISIL shelters, three headquarters and a tank were destroyed in the strikes.
Also, ISIL killed one Turkish soldier and wounded six other soldiers in a car bomb attack in al-Bab on the morning of Dec. 7, the military said in a statement. One of the injured soldiers is said to be in critical condition, the statement added, while an unspecified number of Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters were also wounded in the attack.
The killed soldier was identified as Specialized Sgt. Ahmet Şahin, whose body was brought to the southeastern province of Gaziantep with a helicopter, while the wounded troops and FSA fighters were flown to Gaziantep and neighboring Kilis to be treated at hospitals.
On Aug. 24, the Turkish Armed Forces launched an operation in Syria, the Euphrates Shield operation, with FSA fighters to clear the country’s southern border of both Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces, which Ankara considers to be a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The operations are in their 106th day.
Over 215 residential areas, including more than 1,800 square kilometers of land in northern Syria have been cleared of ISIL terrorists as part of the operation so far.
Last month an air strike, which Turkey’s military initially assessed to have been carried out by the Syrian Air Force, killed four Turkish soldiers in the region. Moscow has said neither Russian nor Syrian armed forces carried out the attack.
A senior Turkish official has told the Hürriyet Daily News on Dec. 6 that an Iranian-made unmanned drone was used in the attack on Nov. 24.