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Two Turkish troops killed after military helicopter shot down in Syria during operation against Kurdish forces

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says those responsible will 'suffer the consequences' 

Saturday 10 February 2018 13:45 GMT
Video alleges to show Turkish helicopter being downed in northern Syria

A Turkish military helicopter has been shot down in northern Syria during an operation against Kurdish forces, killing two soldiers, according to Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Speaking in Istanbul, Mr Erdoğan did not mention the name of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units or YPG but said those responsible would pay for their actions.

The Turkish military has not made a statement but a spokesman for the Kurdish militia, Mustafa Bali, confirmed his fighters downed the chopper in Raju, northwest Afrin.

"A military helicopter was downed. We will have losses, but they [perpetrators] will suffer the consequences,” Mr Erdoğan said, according to YeniSafak.

"Our security forces are engaging in a great fight. We destroyed many of their missile depots yesterday," he added.

Syrian democratic forces released what they claimed was footage of the incident in which smoke can be seen rising from area where the helicopter was downed.

Turkey launched a military offensive on 20 January to uproot the YPG from Afrin in what has been dubbed Operation Olive Branch.

The YPG are considered by Turkey to be an extension of an insurgency within its own borders.

Nineteen Turkish soldiers have died since the operation started.

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