Turkiye, Middle East

3 Turkish soldiers martyred in Syrian regime attack

Ankara says regime forces conducted air attacks against Turkish troops in Al-Bab, northern Syria

3 Turkish soldiers martyred in Syrian regime attack

By Sarp Ozer


Three Turkish soldiers were martyred and 10 others wounded Thursday in an air attack carried out by Syrian regime forces, the Turkish military has said.

Starting at around 3.30 a.m. local time Thursday (0030GMT), Syrian regime forces carried out air attacks on Turkish troops close to the city of Al-Bab in northern Syria, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.

The dead and injured were taken to hospitals in Turkey’s southern Kilis and Gaziantep provinces.

One of the injured soldiers is in a critical condition.

Separately, seven other Turkish soldiers were injured as terrorist organization Daesh dropped mortars into an armored car on Thursday evening. The seven injured were sent to the hospital.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was briefed on the attack by Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar and Defense Minister Fikri Isik.

Yildirim later said Turkey would continue its fight at all costs.

“These attacks, wherever they come from, will never ever reduce our army's commitment to Turkey’s fight against terrorism,” he said.

“It is obvious that someone is not satisfied with Turkey’s fight against Daesh," he added. "However, they [attackers] will get what they deserve,” he added.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in Antalya that the latest attack could have serious consequences.

“The news saying that our soldiers were shot by airplanes belonging to the Syrian government. It could bring us to a very dangerous door. It can drag Turkey into a very dangerous process,” he said.

Meanwhile Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli released a post on his official Twitter account, harshly condemning the attack.

“Terrorist organizations that threaten our nation and our country should be found and should be destroyed wherever they are. There is no escape,” Bahceli said.

The Turkish Armed Forces, meanwhile, announced that at least 14 Daesh targets were destroyed Thursday under Operation Euphrates Shield, launched by Turkey in late August to rid the northern Syrian border area of terrorists.

Targets were located in the towns of Qabasin, Bzaa, Arima plus Al-Bab.

In a separate statement late Thursday, the army rejected the claims of a third airstrike by the Syrian regime on Turkish troops in north Syria. 

"The news asserts that the Syrian regime carried out an airstrike on the region of Al-Bab is also unreal," the army said. 

It said that the military continued to hit Daesh targets in the region. 

More than 215 residential areas, including more than 1,800 square kilometers (694 square miles) of land in northern Syria have so far been cleared of Daesh terrorists as part of the operation now in its 93rd day.

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