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Two Turkish soldiers killed in northwest Syria as YPG militants launch attack

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish soldiers deploy at a position near the village of al-Nayrab, situated about 14 kilometers southeast of the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria, on February 20, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The Turkish defense ministry says two of its soldiers have been killed in Syria’s northwestern province of Aleppo in an attack by US-sponsored Kurdish militants from the so-called People's Protection Units (YPG).

The soldiers were killed when an explosion struck their checkpoint in the Kurdish-controlled Afrin city late on Wednesday.

Following the attack, Turkish military forces retaliated by striking YPG targets, which left three militants dead, the statement added.

Five civilians killed, 6 injured in Turkish military attacks on Aleppo villages

Separately, five civilians have lost their lives when Turkish military forces and their allied Takfiri militants launched dozens of rockets and artillery rounds at residential neighborhoods in Aleppo province.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told SANA that Turkish troops and their allies fired about 200 artillery and rocket shells at the villages of Abyan, Jalbl, Deir Jamal, Kashtaar, Kafr Naya and Sheikh Hilal.

The sources added that six civilians, among them two children, were injured in the attacks.

The projectiles also caused material damage to public property and facilities.

Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The PKK has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

On October 9, 2019, Turkey launched a cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in an attempt to push Kurdish militants affiliated with the YPG away from its borders.

Two weeks later, Russia and Turkey, signed a memorandum of understanding that forced the YPG militants to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” in northeastern Syria, after which Ankara and Moscow began joint patrols around the area.

Turkey has since wrested control of several areas in northern Syria in addition to other Kurdish-controlled areas.

Damascus views the Turkish military presence on Syrian soil as an attack on the Arab country's sovereignty.

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