Two Turkish soldiers killed in helicopter crash in Afrin operation: Officials

Two Turkish soldiers killed in helicopter crash in Afrin operation: Officials

ANKARA
Two Turkish soldiers killed in helicopter crash in Afrin operation: Officials

Two Turkish Armed Forces personnel were killed when an attack helicopter crashed in Syria’s northern district of Afrin during the ongoing “Operation Olive Branch” on Feb. 10, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said.

Talking to reporters in the western Muğla province, Yıldırım said: "Unfortunately, one of our two ATAK helicopters on a mission in the Afrin region has crashed. Two heroic members of the Turkish Armed Forces were martyred."

Yıldırım said it remains “unclear" why the helicopter went down and added that an investigation had been launched.

In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said one of the ATAK helicopter crashed at around 1 p.m. (1000GMT) during the ongoing operation in Afrin.

The first to break the news was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

One chopper belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces was “shot down” during Turkey's “Operation Olive Branch,” Erdoğan said on Feb. 10, speaking in Istanbul.

“[The perpetrators] will pay a heavy price [for downing the Turkish helicopter],” Erdoğan said, speaking at a ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial meeting.

"Of course, all these will happen. We're at war," Erdoğan said.

State-run Anadolu Agency reported the chopper had crashed in the southeastern Turkish province of Hatay however Yıldırım said the incident took place in Afrin.

The details of the attack are yet to be announced.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to clear YPG militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

 

Afrin, YPG, Operation Olive Branch