Two Turkish soldiers killed in Euphrates Shield operation
AA photoTwo Turkish soldiers were killed on Sept. 20 on the 28th day of the Euphrates Shield operation, as Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters advance near the al-Bab region with the support of U.S.-led coalition warplanes, Doğan News Agency has reported.
Non-commissioned officer Bayram Kara and specialized sergeant Burak Uçar were killed in an explosion that occurred during a mine’s detonation in a field where a modular walling process was in place inside Turkey across the Syrian border.
The explosion occurred when the special mine search team was conducting mine detonation works in the Akçakoyunlu region between the Oğuzeli district of Gaziantep and the Elbeyli district of Kilis.
Kara and Uçar were heavily wounded in the explosion. The two soldiers were taken to Gaziantep University hospital but later succumbed to their injuries.
The soldiers will be laid to rest in their hometowns after a funeral ceremony at the Gaziantep 5th Armored Brigade Commandship.
The death of the soldiers brings to 10 the total number of Turkish casualties in the Euphrates Shield operation, launched in cooperation with the U.S.-led coalition on Aug. 24, with attacks from both ISIL and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Jarablus and al-Rai regions of northern Syria.
On Aug. 27, specialized sergeant Ercan Çelik was killed in a rocket attack by the YPG militia.
On Sept. 6 and Sept. 9, a total of six soldiers were killed in separate Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacks targeting Turkish tanks in the al-Rai region.
Specialized sergeant Akif Güleş who was wounded on the Sept. 6 attack succumbed to his injuries at hospital on Sept. 11.
Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair Yasemin Öney Cankurtaran suggested in a statement on Sept. 20 that ISIL militants might be aiming to make the Turkish military face off with Syrian regime forces, alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), by not resisting during their rapid retreat.
The Euphrates Shield operation sees the Turkish military backing the FSA with artillery, tanks, air power and Special Forces in a bid to sweep its borders of ISIL and the YPG after a series of attacks targeting the country.