Turkish soldier killed in Syria's Afrin

One of two British Islamic State (IS) militants known for their role in the torture and killings of Western hostages in Syria was aiming to reach Turkey when he was captured by Kurdish-led forces last month, a Kurdish official said on Friday. Ankara has denied such charges.

In a statement, the military said the Turkish Armed Forces had "neutralized" 29 YPG militants in airstrikes that were carried out overnight on February 7.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven US-backed militants with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as well as two civilians were killed in the attacks.

USA officials said on Thursday that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US -backed militia force, had captured Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, two of four militants known as the "Beatles" for their English accents.

Turkish police arrested Mehmet Zeki Kilic, the co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) Sancaktepe district representation in Istanbul, said a source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.


Turkish forces were deployed in the Tall Tukan town of the Abu Zuhur province, in the southeastern Idlib de-escalation zone.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone on Thursday and agreed to strengthen military and security service coordination in Syria, according to the Kremlin.

The YPG is designated by Ankara as a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

The YPG and its allies have set up three autonomous cantons in the north, including Afrin, since the Syrian conflict began in 2011.


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