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140 Turkish policemen, soldiers test positive for COVID-19 in Syria’s Afrin, Idlib

Turkish soldiers stand near armoured vehicles during a demonstration in support of the Turkish army's Idlib operation near the Turkey-Syria border near Reyhanli, Hatay, on October 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

A total of 140 police and military members assigned to the Syria’s Idlib and Afrin regions have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Rahmi Doğan, the governor of Turkey’s Hatay province.

“We haven’t seen any confirmed cases in civilian Turkish nationals in Afrin or Idlib,” he told reporters on Friday.

“Our police and military members who were staying in confined places in Syrian territory were affected by the outbreak. One hundred twenty police officers in Afrin and 20 soldiers at the Idlib Air Battalion tested positive,” he added.

Turkey controls a small part of northern Syria in coordination with the Free Syrian Army, a Turkish-backed rebel group.

The Turkish army has conducted three military offensive in northern Syria since 2016.

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