Turkey-Syria War: Turkey Forces Push Deeper Into Syria

Heavy fighting continues as Turkey presses ahead with its military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria, now in its third day.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the offensive aims to remove the Kurdish-led forces from the border area and create a “safe zone” so millions of Syrian refugees can be returned.

The move came after the United States announced it was withdrawing its troops from the region, leaving the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its main ally in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) armed group, without US military support.

Turkey’s defense ministry confirmed the first fatality among Turkey’s soldiers on Friday, while heavy clashes between Turkish forces and the SDF are underway in the Syrian border towns.

 

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Turkey says 14 villages ‘liberated’ in northeast Syria

Turkey’s military has said that 14 Syrian villages have so far been liberated from “terrorists” as part of its offensive against Kurdish fighters in the northeast. 

The military added that 73 fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) group have been “neutralized” in the last eight hours. Meanwhile, Turkey’s ministry of defense said 399 YPG fighters have been “neutralized” since the beginning of the operation.

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” to imply that fighters either surrendered or were killed or captured. The Kurds disputed the number, saying only 29 of their fighters were dead.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s ministry of defense also said three of its soldiers were killed, while three others were wounded.