One Turkish soldier killed in Syria’s Afrin

One Turkish soldier killed in Syria’s Afrin

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
One Turkish soldier killed in Syria’s Afrin

A Turkish soldier was killed on Feb. 25 in Syria’s northwestern district of Afrin as the Turkish-led “Operation Olive Branch” continues in the region, the military said.

The soldier was killed during operations targeting People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants, a Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) statement said, without giving further information.

The TSK announced on Feb. 24 that 32 Turkish soldiers were killed and 183 others were wounded since the beginning of the operation.

The TSK and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces captured eight more villages from YPG militants on Feb. 25 as part of the operation in Afrin.

The village of Omranli in Sharran in the northeast of Afrin and the villages of Meydan Akbis and Bandira in Bulbul in the northwest of Afrin were cleared of the YPG, according to sources on the ground.

The villages of Shaykh Muhammad, Kunda Dudu, Shamalik, Velikli and Kavanda in the Rajo area, located northwest of Afrin, were cleared of all militants in the morning hours.

Since the launch of the operation on Jan. 20, the Turkish military and the FSA captured 112 locations including one center of a district, 84 villages, 20 strategic mountains and hills and one YPG base.

A total of 2,018 YPG militants have been “neutralized” since the launch of “Operation Olive Branch” in Afrin, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Feb. 25.

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan updated the number of militants neutralized since the start of the operation to 2,021 during a speech in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on Feb. 25.

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