Turk­ish sol­dier killed in Syria

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

IS­TAN­BUL: A Turk­ish sol­dier was killed and two oth­ers wounded in a bomb at­tack by Islamic State mil­i­tants near the north­ern Syr­ian city of al-Bab, Turk­ish se­cu­rity sources said yes­ter­day. The three sol­diers were evac­u­ated alive by he­li­copter on Satur­day and taken to the south­ern Turk­ish town of Gaziantep, but one of them died from his in­juries, the sources said.

Turkey launched an in­cur­sion into Syria in Au­gust, send­ing in war­planes, tanks and spe­cial forces in sup­port of largely Turk­men and Arab rebels, to try to drive Islamic State and Kur­dish mil­i­tants away from its border. Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Tayyip Er­do­gan said last week that Turk­ish-backed forces were just 2 km from Islamic State-held al-Bab and were ex­pected to take it quickly de­spite some re­sis­tance. Al-Bab is of par­tic­u­lar strate­gic im­por­tance to Turkey be­cause Kur­dish-dom­i­nated mili­tias have also been push­ing to seize it. Ankara is de­ter­mined to prevent Kur­dish forces from join­ing up can­tons they con­trol along the Turk­ish border, for fear it will stoke Kur­dish sep­a­ratism at home.

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