Turkish top general visits troops injured in northern Syria
Gen. Saleh Zaki Joulaq, in addition to a number of other high ranking officials from Turkey’s army travelled to the Shaheen Bey hospital in Gaziantep to offer their support and check on the health of the wounded soldiers.
Joulaq told the state-run Anadolu agency that three Turkish soldiers were killed and a further 10 injured as a result of an airstrike which took place early on Thursday morning near al-Bab in Aleppo province.
Turkish Prime Minister Binar Yildirim has since said that a warning has been issued to Damascus “not to repeat the attack”.
Turkey began a military campaign in Syria dubbed “The Euphrates Shield” in August involving both Ankara-backed Syrian rebels and Turkish ground troops ostensibly aimed at combating the threat of the Islamic State. To date such forces have recaptured the border town of Jarablus from IS, and cleared the extremist group from Al Rai, and the symbolic town of Dabiq.
However, Turkey’s intervention is also aimed at preventing Syrian Kurdish forces joining up territories accumulated over the course of Syria’s civil war along Syria’s northern border with Turkey and the Euphrates Shield operation has clashed with Kurdish forces on a number of occasions.
On Friday, AFP reported that at least one Turkish soldier had been killed in clashes with IS in Aleppo province, taking the total number of Turkish troops killed since Ankara intervened in the conflict to seventeen. Currently Turkish troops are advancing on al-Bab, with the aim of securing the city and proceeding to Manbij where Kurdish troops remain positioned.