Fri, 27 May 2022

ANKARA, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Four Turkish soldiers and one civilian were wounded on Thursday in Turkey's southern border province of Gaziantep in a mortar attack by Kurdish militants in Syria, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

The People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) outlawed in Turkey, launched the attack from the Ayn al-Arab region in Syria on the Karkamis district and the Koprubasi border post in the Gaziantep Province, the ministry tweeted.

In response, the Turkish forces killed six YPG members in northern Syria, it added.

Earlier in the day, the ministry said the Turkish army killed 10 YPG members as they were preparing to attack the military zones under Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, Operation Peace Spring, and Operation Olive Branch.

The tension between the YPG and the Turkish military spiralled after the YPG militants attacked a police checkpoint in the Mare settlement within the Operation Euphrates Shield zone with anti-tank weapons on April 22, killing one Turkish police officer.

The Turkish army launched the Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 to fight the Kurdish militants in northern Syria.

Turkish authorities say the operations aim to eliminate terror threats against Turkey and provide a safe zone that will facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.

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