ANKARA (Xinhua) – Turkey’s
security forces killed at least 12 members of the so-called People’s Protection Units (YPG) after three Turkish soldiers died in an explosion, the country’s defense ministry says.
“After the IED (improvised explosive device) attack, in which three of our heroic comrades were martyred on the Akcakale borderline, the PKK/YPG targets were hit with our fire support vehicles, and 12 terrorists were neutralized, according to the initial findings,” the ministry tweeted.
Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralized” to imply “terrorists” killed, wounded or captured in security operations.
The Turkish security forces continued military operations in the region, said the ministry.
Three soldiers were killed on Saturday when a bomb exploded on Turkey’s border with Syria, the ministry earlier said.
They were killed by an improvised explosive device planted by “terrorists” on the “borderline” in Akcakale district of the southeastern Sanliurfa city, said the statement.
The explosion occurred when a military vehicle was passing by Syria’s northern border town Tal Abyad, local Demiroren News Agency (DHA) reported.
The Tal Abyad town has been under control of Turkish forces and Turkish-backed militants since Ankara launched an incursion against a Kurdish group in Syria in October 2019.
The Turkish army launched invasions in 2016, 2018, 2019 and in 2020 in northern Syria, in order to eliminate the YPG group along its border with the neighboring country. The move has angered Damascus for violating Syria’s territorial integrity.
Turkey sees the YPG as the branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
On Friday, the defense ministry said Turkey killed eight YPG members in northern Syria when they “attempted to attack” Turkish forces at the Operation Peace Spring zone.
Turkish forces and the YPG members in the region often exchange fire on the Syrian border.