Three Turkish soldiers killed on Syria border

Three Turkish soldiers were killed in southeast Turkey on Saturday when a bomb exploded on the border with Syria, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said they were killed in Akcakale town in Sanliurfa province after detonating a homemade bomb “placed by terrorists there” but gave no further details.

Across the Turkish border is the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, which is controlled by Turkish forces and Syrian proxies after Ankara launched a military operation against a Kurdish militia in October 2019.

Although it did not blame an organization by name, the ministry was most likely referring to Kurdish militants.

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Ankara has launched multiple operations inside Turkey, Iraq and Syria against Kurdish militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or associated with it.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has been blacklisted by Ankara and its Western allies, has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

In northern Syria, Turkey launched attacks against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in 2016, 2018, and 2019.

Ankara says the YPG is a “terrorist” branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), although it has also played a major role in the US-backed fight against the extremist group Islamic State in Syria.

Read more:

Three killed in Turkish strike in Kurdish-run Syria

Turkey says it will do “what is necessary” after cross-border attacks from Syria

Turkey plans military action against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units if diplomacy fails

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