Turkish forces 'neutralize' 21 ISIL militants

Turkish forces 'neutralize' 21 ISIL militants

Turkish forces neutralize 21 ISIL militants

A ceremony is held in Gaziantep for Staff Sergeant Selçuk Erdoğan on Jan 7. / AA Photo

At least 21 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists were “neutralized” in northern Syria in the last 24 hours as part of the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation, according to a Turkish General Staff statement released on Jan. 7.

Meanwhile, a Turkish soldier previously wounded as part of the ongoing operation in Syria succumbed to his injuries late on Jan. 6. 

156 ISIL targets, including ISIL's shelters, headquarters, defense positions and vehicles have been hit by Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters with Turkish army’s support during the same time period, the statement said.

Turkish Air force also hit 12 ISIL targets in Syria’s al-Bab, Suflaniyyah and Kabr al Mukri regions, including control points, shelters, headquarters and vehicles used by the terrorists, it added.

The Turkish army is supporting FSA fighters in liberating al-Bab, a 
strategic city for ISIL. Jan. 7 marks the 137th day since the Euphrates Shield operation started on Aug. 24, 2016. 

The statement also said 43 mines and 2,794 improvised explosives had 
been defused since the start of the operation.

The Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield began in late August to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border using FSA fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.

Meanwhile, a Turkish soldier, who had been wounded on Dec. 21, 2016, in northern Syria as part of the ongoing campaign, succumbed to his injuries in Turkey's southern province of Gaziantep late on Jan. 6.

Staff Sergeant Selçuk Erdoğan, 33, succumbed to his injuries on Jan. 6, in Gaziantep, days after being wounded in an operation in Syria, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Erdoğan's body was sent to his hometown on Amasya on Jan. 7, where he will be laid to rest.