Turkish troops at an observation post in northwest Syria (File)


Local activists and the White Helmets civil defense report a barrage of Grad rockets on Afrin city in northwest Syria. They claim the firing came from areas held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces or the Assad regime.

Afrin is at the center of the Kurdish canton captured by Turkey and anti-Assad rebels in spring 2018.

ORIGINAL ENTRY, JULY 25: Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two wounded in northern Syria on Saturday.

The troops were in an armored vehicle, on its way to a Turkish base, near Al-Bab in Aleppo Province.

The Defense Ministry said Turkish forces launched retaliatory fire at “terrorists”. The Ministry did not attribute responsibility to any faction.

However, a pro-opposition activist said Turkish forces fired artillery at an area, south of Azaz, held by the US-supported, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

In 2016, Turkish forces entered northern Syria, alongside anti-Assad factions, to push out the Islamic State. In spring 2018, a Turkish-rebel offensive seized most of the Kurdish canton of Afrin.

Turkey considers the Kurdish YPG militia to be part of the Turkish Kurdish insurgency PKK, which has fought Ankara’s security forces for almost 40 years.