08:09 GMT +319 November 2019
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    In this photo taken Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, Turkish and U.S. troops conduct joint patrols around the Syrian town of Manbij, as part of an agreement that aimed to ease tensions between the two NATO allies

    Turkish Military Retaliates as its Soldier Killed in Syria Mortar Attack - MoD

    © AP Photo / Turkish Defence Ministry
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    The Turkish MoD claims that the attack was conducted by the US-backed Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara believes is linked to the PKK group, outlawed in Turkey.

    According to Ankara, Turkey's military retaliated after one of its soldiers had been killed and another one injured in a mortar attack in northwestern Syria.

    READ MORE: Violence in Syria's Idlib Displace 90,000 People in February, March — UN

    The Turkish Defence Ministry stated that the attack was carried out by the Kurdish YPG militia, which has been fighting Daesh* in Syria mostly as part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, in the Afrin region.

    "After the incident, targets identified as belonging to terrorists were subject to fire," the Turkish ministry said in a statement.

    The day before the elections that take place on 31 March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara intended to solve the Syrian issue "on the field", commenting on the possibility of a new operation against Kurdish militants in northern Syria.

    Last year, Turkey launched a military operation against the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin in the north of Aleppo province in Syria, fighting the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which constitute a part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Ankara views YPG as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey. 

    *Daesh (also known as Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL, IS) is a terrorist group banned in numerous countries, including Russia

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    Tags:
    death toll, Syrian Civil War, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Daesh, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Syria
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