February 11, 2018

Turkish TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK hilicopter shot down by Kurds in northwestern Syria’s Afrin

Two pilots killed

Resque helicopters

A Turkish military helicopter has been shot down in northern Syria during an operation against Kurdish forces, killing two soldiers, according to Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Speaking in Istanbul, Mr Erdoğan did not mention the name of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units or YPG but said those responsible would pay for their actions.

The Turkish military has not made a statement but a spokesman for the Kurdish militia, Mustafa Bali, confirmed his fighters downed the chopper in Raju, northwest Afrin. "A military helicopter was downed. We will have losses, but they [perpetrators] will suffer the consequences,” Mr Erdoğan said, according to YeniSafak.

"Our security forces are engaging in a great fight. We destroyed many of their missile depots yesterday," he added.

Syrian democratic forces released what they claimed was footage of the incident in which smoke can be seen rising from area where the helicopter was downed.

Turkey launched a military offensive on 20 January to uproot the YPG from Afrin in what has been dubbed Operation Olive Branch.

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