Turkey soldier killed in clashes with Syrian Kurdish militia
A Turkish soldier was killed and five were wounded in a clash with Syrian Kurdish militia forces, the defense ministry said.
“Our hero comrade fell martyr and five were wounded during the clashes with the terrorists,” the ministry said in a Wednesday, June 26 statement, referring to the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
The ministry did not where the clashes occurred. A group that calls itself the Afrin Liberation Forces said in a video message that its fighters had killed a Turkish soldier on June 25.
Kurdish news outlet Basnews reported that the clashes took place in the Efrin region.
Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organization inextricably tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has fought an insurgency in the country since the 1980s.
The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies. The YPG is not a proscribed organization in the European Union, United Kingdom or United States and is a key part of the Syrian Democratic Forces that fought Islamic State in Syria.
Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies took control of Efrin in northern Syria last spring after a months-long campaign. Syrian Kurdish officials have vowed to retake Efrin, which is part of their project in North and East Syria, in an area Kurds refer to as Rojava, meaning ‘west’.
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With reporting from AFP