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Turkish General Staff Reports Seven Soldiers Killed During Afrin Operation

© REUTERS / Khalil AshawiTurkish forces are seen near Mount Barsaya, northeast of Afrin, Syria January 22,2018
Turkish forces are seen near Mount Barsaya, northeast of Afrin, Syria January 22,2018 - Sputnik International
ANKARA (Sputnik) - At least seven Turkish servicemen were killed on Saturday during the operation in Syria's northern district of Afrin, the Turkish General Staff said.

Earlier in the day, the Turkish General Staff reported about five servicemen killed in Afrin operation, including two servicemen killed during the crash of a Turkish ATAK helicopter in the area.

"Two more our comrades-in-arms were killed on February 10 during Olive Branch operation, and four were injured. Eleven members of the PYD [Kurdish Democratic Union Party], the YPG [Kurdish People's Protection Units] and IS [Daesh] terrorist organizations were killed," the statement said.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he talks during the closing news conference following the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 - Sputnik International
Turkey to Destroy Terrorist Threat in Idlib After Doing So in Afrin - Erdogan
Turkey launched its operation Olive Branch in Afrin on January 20. Ankara has said its offensive is aimed at clearing the Turkish border with Syria from the terrorist presence. Turkey considers the YPG and the PYD to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara.

Turkey has neutralized over 1,000 Kurdish militants since the start of its Afrin offensive. At least 26 Turkish servicemen were killed and over 70 were injured during the operation. Damascus has expressed its opposition to the Turkish operation in Afrin, slamming such actions as violation of Syrian sovereignty.

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