Eight Turkish Soldiers Killed in North Syria Offensive

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country's forces had captured the town of Rajo from militants.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation inside Syria aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as "protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression".

Ankara has said the United Nations resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire across Syria does not apply to its five-week-old military operation in Afrin against the Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey says is a terrorist group.

The soldiers were reportedly killed when Kurdish fighters used tunnels to ambush Turkish special forces in the Keltepe district.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech that the Turkish forces were beginning to take mountain positions and would now head towards Afrin itself.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) announced that at least 2,434 terrorists had been "neutralized" in the operation since it was launched.

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The successful anti-terror operation came as part of the second phase of Operation Olive Branch, launched by Turkey on January 20 to remove the PKK/PYD/YPG/KCK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

Pro-regime fighters are present on several fronts in the enclave, according to the Kurds.

Ankara considers the YPG a "terrorist" organisation closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group that has been leading a bloody guerrilla war on Turkish soil since 1984.

Staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross take part in an aid delivery operation in Syria's northern region of Afrin on March 1, 2018 as a truck convoy enters the area for the first time since Turkish-led fighters launched an assault on the Kurdish enclave in January.

He also pointed out that on different sides of the Euphrates River in Syria; to the east of which the land is controlled by USA backed Kurdish groups and where US troops are present, different scenarios were unfolding.

  • Adam Floyd