February 13, 2018 / 12:15 AM
31 Turkish soldiers killed in Afrin operation: army

The Turkish army on Monday, February 12, said 31 soldiers had been killed since Ankara launched its offensive against the Kurdish forces in Syria last month.

A statement said another 143 Turkish soldiers were wounded in the operation dubbed "Olive Branch" which began on January 20 against the People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters in the western region of Afrin.

Turkey has been supporting Syrian rebels with ground troops and air strikes during the operation which Ankara has threatened to extend eastwards towards other YPG-held towns.

Turkey suffered its bloodiest day on Saturday when 11 military personnel were killed, including two after a helicopter taking part in the offensive was downed.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 152 YPG fighters and 165 Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have died in the operation, NRT reported.

The Observatory said at least 74 civilians have been killed in the operation so far.

Reporter’s code: 50101