ISIL claims 2 Turkish soldiers taken captive in Syria

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Turkish soldiers stand in a Turkish army tank driving back to Turkey from the Syrian-Turkish border town of Jarabulus on September 2, 2016 in the Turkish-Syrian border town of Karkamis. Turkish military experts on September 1, 2016 cleared mines from the area of the Syrian town of Jarabulus captured from jihadists last week, using controlled explosions that sent clouds of dust and smoke into the sky, an AFP photographer said. Pro-Ankara Syrian rebels, backed by Turkish aviation and tanks, took Jarabulus from Islamic State (IS) fighters in a lightning operation and now enjoy full control of the town. / AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC

A news agency that is linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) said on Tuesday that ISIL forces took two Turkish soldiers captive in the western Syrian city of Al Bab.

The Turkish military said it lost contact on Tuesday with two of its soldiers deployed in northern Syria, although it stopped short of confirming an ISIL claim that the militant group had kidnapped a pair of Turkish soldiers.

The army said that contact was lost at around 3:30 p.m. local time (1230 GMT). It did not give any further details.

In September 2015, ISIL abducted a Turkish soldier named Sefer Taş. His whereabouts are still unknown.

ISIL also took hostage 49 staff members and dependents at the Turkish Consulate in Mosul including the then-consul general, Öztürk Yılmaz, in June 2015 and released them in October of the same year.

Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria in August, sending tanks, fighter jets and special forces over the border. It aims to sweep ISIL from a roughly 90-kilometer (56-mile) strip of the Syrian border and prevent Kurdish militia groups from seizing territory in their wake.

 

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