Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive


Aside from the Turkish offensive in Afrin, the Syrian government has escalated its attacks on two of the largest and most important remaining opposition-held areas, in Idlib province in northwestern Syria and on eastern Ghouta, a region near the capital Damascus.

Turkish forces claim that hundreds of Kurdish militia fighters have been "neutralized" in a series of military sorties, while militias such as the the YPG had before Saturday claimed more than a dozen Turkish casualties.

Erdogan has promised to sweep the militia from Turkey's southern border, a move that could put Turkish troops in confrontation with USA forces on the ground in Syria.

Ankara Two Turkish Armed Forces personnel were killed when an attack helicopter crashed in northwestern Syria's Afrin during the ongoing Operation Olive Branch on February 10, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said, Hurryiet reports.

Turkey has shown "sensitivity" to not harming civilians during the ongoing operation in Syria's Afrin, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Sunday.

A follow-up statement released on the same day said two more Turkish soldiers were killed and four were wounded in the military operations.

The Turkish military has not officially confirmed the reason for the crash, saying technical crews are investigating.

The soldiers were killed in clashes with People's Protection Units (YPG) militants around a hill near Afrin.

The Turkish military said one of its helicopters crashed at 1300 (1000 GMT) killing two military personnel but did not give a reason for the incident, only saying that an investigation had been launched.

The meetings will focus on regional developments and Olive Branch operation, which was launched by the Turkish forces against terrorist organizations.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced earlier that a military helicopter was "downed" in the Afrin operation.

"Of course, all these will happen. We are at war", Erdoğan added. Seven Turkish civilians have also lost their lives.

Funeral ceremonies were held for 12 killed soldiers in their hometowns as numbers of Turkish figures from the political and business community expressed their condolences.