SDF claims 23 Turkish soldiers killed in Northeast Syria
SDF Media Center said in a statement released on Thursday that the SDF had carried out three operations and killed 23 Turkish soldiers in August, targeting Turkish forces on the border area adjacent to the Turkish city of Mardin.
The SDF operations were conducted through three separate attacks, which targeted Turkish troops as well as their vehicles, SDF media said.
The statement said that the operations were in response to recent Turkish attacks on northeastern Syria that killed seven civilians, including two children, and injured 17 others, including 10 children and three women.
According to the statement, “The first operation targeted an armored vehicle, killing seven Turkish soldiers and wounding two others; the second killed 10 and destroyed an armored vehicle; and the third resulted in the killing of six soldiers.”
“Thus, 23 Turkish soldiers died and at least two others were wounded as a total.”
Turkey has not commented on the SDF's operation, but on Thursday said it had killed six SDF fighters who fired at them along the Mardin border.
On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his calls for launching an offensive in northern Syria, vowing to saying "we will continue our fight against terrorism," referring to Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey seeks to push south from the areas of Manbij and Tal Rifaat to establish what it calls a 30 kilometer deep safe zone along its southern border.
The YPG, main component of the SDF, is considered by Turkey as the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group that has been fighting with Turkey for four decades.