Two more Turkish soldiers killed in Syria offensive: army

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The explosion, which did not cause any casualties, in the Turkish capital was caused by a bomb _ not a gas leak as initially believed, authorities said Friday Feb. 2, 2018, adding that the suspected bomber they identified as a man who had trained with Kurdish militants in Syria, had been killed in a police operation.

Turkey launched a cross-border offensive into Afrin on January 20 to rout the Syrian Kurdish militia group it says is linked to insurgents fighting inside Turkey.

On the Syrian side of the border, intense fighting broke out near Afrin as Turkish troops and Turkey-backed opposition fighter tried to advance further in the Kurdish enclave.

As of Saturday morning, 897 PKK/YPG terrorists were killed in operations, airstrikes and shelling by the Turkish military.

Turkey's military launched an incursion into northern Syria's Afrin region against the US -backed YPG militia two weeks ago.

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The statement said the air operation targeted terrorists in Sheikh Haruz, northeast of Afrin, and was launched at 5.52 p.m. local time (1452GMT).

"Of course, this number will increase by the evening", said Erdogan, while speaking at Turkish Youth Foundation's gathering at Presidential Complex.

A statement by the Turkish Armed Forces later in the day said that one soldier was killed in the attack. The suspect who was killed had entered Turkey illegally and received training from a branch of the Syrian Kurdish PYD group, the governor's office said.

Erdogan said in a speech Saturday that the Turkish forces were beginning to take mountain positions and would now head towards Afrin itself.

But the YPG has been working closely with the United States to fight the Islamic State extremist group in Syria.