Istanbul, Feb 5: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said 935 terrorists have been “neutralised” since Turkey launched a military offensive against Syria’s Afrin held by Kurdish militia, on January 20.
“Of course, we also have martyrs,” the President told reporters on Sunday here prior to his departure for the Vatican for a visit, Xinhua news agency reported.
Turkey lost eight soldiers on Saturday, including five killed after their tank was hit by the Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), marking the deadliest day for the Turkish troops since they started the so-called Operation Olive Branch along with the rebel Free Syrian Army.
Erdogan said an investigation had been launched into the attack, including trying to determine which countries supplied the weaponry being used by the YPG, considered by Ankara as a terror group.
“We have some estimations,” he said. “When it is finalised, we will share it with the whole world.”
Ankara has been infuriated with US training and arming of the YPG as a reliable force in the fight against the Islamic State, and threatened to move on militarily against YPG-held Manbij in northern Syria, where US special operation forces are based.