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Turkish Army Continues To Bleed, Five Soldiers Killed In Syria & Iraq Within One Week

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Turkish Army Continues To Bleed, Five Soldiers Killed In Syria & Iraq Within One Week

Turkish forces are seen near Mount Barsaya, northeast of Afrin, Syria January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

The Turkish military continues to sustain human losses in Syria and Iraq, where its troops have battling Kurdish forces and several other sides for several years.

Late on September 12, the Ministry of National Defense of Turkey announced that a soldier had died of wounds he sustained as result of the September 10 attack in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.

The attack, which was carried out by a little-known radical group called Saryat Ansar Abu Baker As-Siddiq, targeted a convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces near Idlib city.

The total death toll from the attack has now risen to three. At least two other Turkish soldiers were wounded in the attack.

Earlier this week, specifically on September 7, a Turkish officer was killed and four soldiers were wounded in a tunnel bomb attack in the northern countryside of Syria’s Aleppo. The attack was carried out by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

The Turkish military’s human losses this week were not limited to Syria. On September 12, the Ministry of National Defense acknowledged that Turkish soldier was killed and another was wounded as a result of an attack by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

The two soldiers were taking part in Operations Claw-Lightning and Thunderbolt, which began more than four months ago. At least 17 Turkish service members were killed in the operation as of August 16.

In the last few years, the Turkish military expanded its cross-border operations like never before upon the orders of President Erdogan.

The mounting human losses in Syria and Iraq have begun to generate public pressure inside Turkey against these operations. The loss of five soldiers in a week highlights the heavy cost associated with advancing Ankara’s interests in the Middle East.

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