Helicopter crashes amid deaths of 12 soldiers in 22nd day in Afrin

Twelve Turkish soldiers, including two in a helicopter crash, are killed during the 22nd day of a military offensive by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and AKP-supported jihadist groups in Afrin. Since the beginning of the operation in January, 32 soldiers have died, according to official figures

Two Turkish soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash west of Afrin amid Ankara’s continued offensive against the canton in northern Syria amid the deaths of 10 other soldiers in the area.

“All these things will happen, we are in a war. We will face losses; we will also inflict casualties,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech to the Istanbul provincial organization of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

TSK admits losses

The TSK made consecutive statements regarding the losses of soldiers in Afrin.

After the declaration of the two losses in the chopper crash, the TSK announced in a second statement on Feb. 10 that three soldiers had been killed and five others were wounded during the ongoing military operations.

In a third statement, the TSK stated, “As part of the Operation Olive Branch, on the date of Feb. 10, 2018, two hero fellow soldiers were martyred and four hero fellow soldiers were wounded.”

In its last statement on Feb. 10, the TSK announced that four more soldiers had lost their lives and that two others were wounded in Afrin.

On the morning of Feb. 11, it also said a wounded soldier had succumbed to his injuries.

Since Jan. 21, 32 soldiers have been killed in the offensive against Afrin.

TSK, jihadists capture Dayr Balut village

The state-run Anatolian Agency also announced that the TSK and AKP-supported jihadist groups captured Dayr Balut village in western Afrin.

One jihadist group, Feylak al-Sham, announced that it had seized Dayr Balut, sharing photos and a video from the region.

At the outset of the operation, Ankara claimed that it would rapidly capture Afrin, but the defenders from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) have held firm in the face of the aggression.

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