Eight Turkish soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in clashes with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in the Afrin region of Syria, the Hürriyet daily reported on Thursday, based on a statement from the Turkish military.
According to the report, the injured soldiers were taken to hospitals in Turkey’s Hatay province.
The Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch in the Afrin region of Syria against the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey sees as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Forty-one Turkish soldiers have been killed and 196 injured since the beginning of the operation.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 8 said Turkey would not allow a Kurdish corridor in Syria extending along the Turkish border to the Mediterranean.
Turkey with Free Syrian Army forces took control of the Jarablus and Al Bab areas in northern Syria during an operation against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] militants between August 2016 and March 2017.
Seventy-two soldiers were killed during Operation Euphrates Shield, which was evaluated as a strategic move to prevent unification of areas controlled by the Kurdish PYD.