Middle East

Two more Turkish troops killed in cross-border operations

FILE: In this photo provided by the Turkish Ministry of Defence on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Turkish troops in action against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq. (Turkish Ministry of Defence via AP).

ISTANBUL: Two more Turkish soldiers were killed in cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq, the defence ministry said on Sunday, bringing the total military casualties to four at the weekend.

After two troops were killed Saturday in an attack in Syria's northwest Idlib region, the government said one of the three who were injured in the incident later died.

The so-called "de-escalation" zone south of Turkey is the last major area of Syria still in rebel hands after a decade-long war, and parts are jointly patrolled by Turkish and Russian forces based on accords the nations struck early last year.

The fourth casualty was reported in northern Iraq after an attack by "separatist terrorists" on a Turkish military vehicle that was leaving a base, the ministry said, adding another soldier was also injured.

Turkey's operation in Iraq targets the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has bases there and which is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

The group launched an insurgency in southeast Turkey in 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

 

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