8 Turkish troops killed, 13 wounded in Syria clashes

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YPG fighters take up defensive positions against Turkish troops in Syria. (Reuters)

ANKARA — Eight Turkish soldiers were killed and another 13 were wounded in clashes in northwest Syria’s Afrin region on Thursday, Turkey’s armed forces said.

The military said the wounded soldiers had been “swiftly evacuated” to receive treatment. No further details were immediately available.

Turkey launched an offensive into Afrin in January against the U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state.

Since the start of the operation, Turkey has captured 115 “strategic points” and 87 villages, according to state media, pushing Kurdish fighters back from the area near the Turkish border to effectively create a “crescent” of control on Syria’s side of the frontier.