The footage allegedly shows Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) fighters hitting a tank with anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). Reports suggest that it was a female fighter that carried out the attack. Previously, media had said that the female fighter within the YPG blew herself up amid the ongoing offensive in an attempt to turn back the armored assault by the Turkish army. The incident took the lives of at least five servicemen, and led to the destruction of the tank.
According to Lebanese network Al-Masdar, the destroyed vehicle turned out to be a German-built Leopard tank.
Pro-Turkish Twitterspere disturbed after photos of the tanks were leaked on social media. YPG/J’s own recording showed both tanks hit + another vehicle close to a border post.— A Dunon (@4rj1n) 3 февраля 2018 г.
So today Turkey were forced to admit loss of another 8 Turkish soldiers during the invasion of Afrin. pic.twitter.com/RKGoOMTjf0
Ankara is investigating the circumstances surrounding the attack, trying to determine which country had supplied the Kurdish forces with such powerful weapons.
"We are investigating the circumstances around death of five of our soldiers, we are probing the weapons of what country hit the tank… Regardless of what country gave the terrorists those weapons — it works together with them," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a press conference.
Since January 20 Turkey has been conducting a military operation, codenamed “Olive Branch,” against the Kurdish forces in Syria’s Afrin, an area controlled by the US-backed YPG, which is considered by Ankara to be affiliated with the Kurdistan’s Workers’ Party (PKK), regarded by Turkey as a terrorist organization. Damascus has resolutely condemned the operation as a violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Ankara launched the military campaign in response to the announcement of the United States that Washington would train a 30,000-strong border security force on the territory within Syria controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance dominated by the YPG allegedly associated with the PKK, banned in Turkey.