A Turkish soldier was killed in Turkish-controlled northern Syria on Thursday during clashes with Kurdish militia forces deemed “terrorists” by Ankara, the defense ministry tweeted.
“One fellow heroic soldier fell martyr in clashes” as fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia sought to infiltrate the Afrin region, the ministry said.
Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is waging an insurgency in Turkey.
Turkey and its Syrian proxies control several pockets of territory on Syria’s side of the border following three military incursions since 2016 against the ISIS and the YPG.
In 2018, Turkish forces and their Syrian auxiliaries ousted the Kurdish militia from the Afrin region, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the border, during Operation Olive Branch.