Two more Turkish soldiers were killed over the past weekend during combat operations in Afrin, a Kurdish control city/region in northern Syria. A total of 16 Turkish soldiers have been killed since the start of Operation Olive Branch according to Turkish authorities. The two soldiers recently killed were hit by mortar fire from the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces while they were stationed at a military outpost in the Hatay province. The Turkish military neglected to disclose any further details on the event.
The Kurdish SDF have been putting up a strong defense in light of the continuous efforts of the Turkish military and have held their ground despite being out-gunned and very likely out-manned since the start of the conflict on January 20th. The SDF has destroyed several Turkish tanks plus crew members during the course of the renewed conflict and has claimed that they killed 7 Turkish soldiers as well as destroyed a tank over the weekend.
An official statement was released by the Syriac Military Council unilaterally, it read, “While we are trying to complete the liberation of the rest of the Syrian territory from the remnants of terrorists who have committed crimes against the land, people, history and civilization, the barbaric Turkish attack and bombardment continues on the Afrin region for the second week in a row. Today, in the face of a new front in Afrin, as a sign of friendships of people, MFS decided to send reinforcements to Afrin to defend the people from Turkish invasions and attacks and its terrorist mercenaries.” The MSF is a nearly 2,000 strong majority Christian group of Assyrians that is currently collaborating with the SDF and coalition forces.
So far an estimated 134 Free Syrian Army fighters, 106 YPG fighters, and 68 civilians have been killed as a result from the current conflict between the SDF and Turkish military forces in northern Syria.
Featured Image Courtesy of Wikimedia via Mahmoud Bali (VOA); Public Domain