One Turkish soldier was killed and three others wounded in a rocket attack on a tank close to the northern Syrian town of Jarablus on Saturday, Turkish military sources said, after Turkey launched a cross-border offensive this week.
The sources said the rocket was fired from territory held by the Kurdish YPG militia.
Rebels opposed to the Turkish intervention had earlier on Saturday denied there were Kurdish forces in the area. Turkey has said its campaign in Syria is targeting ISIS and preventing Kurdish forces extending their territory in north Syria.
The attack came as Ankara ratcheted up its cross-border offensive by saying it had launched air strikes on Kurdish forces and ISIS.
Turkey wants to stop Kurdish forces gaining control of a continuous stretch of Syrian territory on its frontier, which Ankara fears could be used to support the Kurdish militant group PKK as it wages its three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil.
Turkish security sources said two F-16 jets bombed a site controlled by the Kurdish YPG militia, which is part of the broader US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition. The sources also said the jets hit six ISIS targets.
Ankara’s opponents said Turkish forces had targeted YPG-allied forces but that no Kurdish forces were involved.
On the ground, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels fought forces aligned to the SDF near the frontier town of Jarablus. Forces opposed to Ankara said Turkish tanks were deployed, a charge denied by Turkey’s rebel allies.
Turkey launched its offensive into Syria on Wednesday, supporting its rebel allies with Turkish special forces, tanks and warplanes. It seized control of Jarablus from Islamic State seeking to stop any Kurdish forces moving in first.
Saturday’s use of warplanes against what Turkey said was a Kurdish YPG militia target highlights its determination to prevent any Kurdish territorial expansion in north Syria.
Any action against Kurdish forces in Syria puts Turkey at odds with its NATO ally the United States, which backs the SDF and YPG, seeing them as the most reliable and effective ally in the fight against ISIS in Syria.
It adds complexity to the Syrian conflict that erupted five years ago with an uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has since drawn in regional states and world powers.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر