Erdogan Says Military Chopper 'Downed' in Syria, Vows Revenge
Saturday, 10 February, 2018 - 12:45
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said a Turkish military
helicopter had been shot down during Ankara's Operation Olive Branch against
the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.
"A little earlier, one of our helicopters was shot down," Erdogan said in
televised remarks without saying who was responsible but vowing they would
pay a "heavier price".
He did not mention any casualties. But Turkish Prime Minister Binali
Yildirim said two Turkish troops were killed.
State-run news agency Anadolu said the incident happened in Turkey’s
southern border province of Hatay.
Turkey resumed on Friday airstrikes in northern Syria's Kurdish enclave of
Afrin after a brief lull, killing and wounding several people, the military
and Kurdish officials said.
The attacks on border areas and the main town in the region began Thursday
night and have been among the worst since the Turkish army and Ankara-backed
opposition fighters began the ground and air campaign on the Afrin enclave
three weeks ago, Kurdish officials said.
Operation Olive Branch has displaced thousands of people, many of whom have
gone to the town of Afrin that is already crowded with tens of thousands of
displaced who fled violence in other parts of Syria over the years.
The YPG, which has ties with Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party
(PKK), was the US-led coalition's main ground partner in the fight against
ISIS in Syria.
Twenty one Turkish soldiers have died since the beginning of the operation
against the YPG.