Tens of Ankara Forces, Allied Militants Killed in Northern Syria, Turkish Territory
Islam Times - Tens of Turkish Army men and Ankara-backed militants have been killed in the Kurdish fighters' attacks in Turkish territory and in Afrin region after the army kicked off Operation Olive Branch against the Kurds in Northwestern Aleppo, a media outlet reported on Sunday.
The Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that the Kurdish units stormed the Turkish army positions in Qara Khan region in Hatay province and managed to destroy a management base that was leading Operation Olive Branch in Afrin.
Hawar news said that seven Turkish soldiers were killed in the attack.
It further said that the Kurdish fighters attacked the Turkish soldiers and Ankara-backed militants near the villages of Qoudeh and Belilka in Rajou region, killing 13 soldiers and militants.
Also, the Turkish Army General Staff announced in a statement that a Turkish soldiers was killed in clashes with the Kurds in Afrin.
Speaking to RIA Novosti, Reizan Hedu, representative of the Kurdish self-defense forces in Afrin, claimed on Saturday that the Turkish army used internationally-banned arms in its military operation in the Syrian region.
"The Turkish army possesses aircraft, tanks and missiles, and is using weapons banned by the international convention, [namely] napalm and shells with chlorine," Hedu said.
He added that "they have tens of thousands of terrorists, in addition to the Turkish military."
Hedu also pointed out that the Turkish troops actually do not advance in Afrin, opting to engage in hit-and-run tactics, which he said were typically used by the self-defense forces.
His remarks came as the Syrian state-run news agency SANA reported that at least six people with symptoms of suffocation had been hospitalized in Afrin after the Turkish military used toxic agents in the village of Aranda.
On January 20, the Turkish army launched Operation Olive Branch against Kurdish YPG forces, which Ankara believes have links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), blacklisted by Turkey as a terrorist organization.
Damascus has condemned the operation as "treacherous aggression" and an assault on the country's sovereignty. Russia, for its part, urges all parties to show restraint and respect Syria's territorial integrity.
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