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Turkish army says 31 soldiers killed in Syria operation

Ankara: The Turkish army on Monday said 31 soldiers had been killed since Ankara launched its offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria last month.

Another 143 Turkish soldiers were wounded in the operation dubbed “Olive Branch” which began on January 20 against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in the western region of Afrin, a statement said.

While the United States has given armed support to the YPG against the Islamic State group in Syria, Turkey says the militia is a “terrorist” offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Some 1,369 “terrorists” had been neutralised during the operation, the army said, referring to those killed but also those captured or wounded.

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