Two Turkish forces have lost their lives during an incursion into Syria which Ankara says targets Daesh terrorists and Kurdish militants operating in the violence-wracked Arab country.
Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported that the soldiers sustained injuries in a blast south of the Syrian city of Jarablus on Tuesday while engaged in alleged clean-up operations against Daesh.
The troopers were taken over the border to a hospital in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, but they succumbed to their wounds.
Turkish military sources said Tuesday’s explosion was caused by either a landmine or an improvised explosive device (IED).
The latest deaths raised to 10 the total number of Turkish soldiers killed since August 24, when Turkish special forces, tanks and jets backed by planes from the US-led coalition launched their first coordinated offensive in Syria.
Damascus has denounced Turkey's military intervention as a breach of its sovereignty.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation, dubbed "Euphrates Shield," was aimed at “terror groups” such as Daesh and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a US-backed Kurdish group based in Syria.
Hours after the beginning of the offensive, Ankara-backed militants seized Jarablus, with Turkey now controlling a 900 square-kilometer area inside Syria.
On Monday, Erdogan stressed that the Turkish military will expand its offensive to create a 5,000-square-kilometer sanctuary.
Syria has been the scene of a foreign-backed crisis since March 2011. Turkey is said to be among the main supporters of the militant groups active in Syria, with reports saying that Ankara actively trains and arms the Takfiri elements there and facilitates their safe passage into the conflict-ridden country.