World Bulletin / News Desk
During the phone calls with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Erdogan was informed about a clash between security forces and terrorists, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
On Thursday, eight Turkish soldiers were martyred as a Turkish-led operation continued in the region, according to two separate statements from the Turkish General Staff.
The statements said another 13 soldiers were wounded during the operation.
Expressing his deep sorrow for the martyred soldiers, Erdogan wished Allah’s mercy upon those who those lost their lives and a quick recovery for the injured, the sources added.
Erdogan also expressed his condolences to the martyrs’ families and security forces.
Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and ISIL terrorists from Afrin. According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN Charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming any civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.