KILIKYA – Footage shot by fighters from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces captured the moment a Turkish military helicopter was allegedly downed in Raju, northwest Afrin on Saturday, leaving at least two soldiers dead.
The incident took place during Ankara’s Afrin operation as the helicopters were flying an offensive on Syrian Kurdish militia in the area.
In a press statement, the Turkish military claimed that two soldiers were killed in the crash, while media reports suggest seven servicemen lost their lives.
The Turkish Prime Minister Benaki Yildirim declined to comment on the cause of the crash, stating it is not yet clear whether the crash was an accident or caused by outside interference.
Speaking in Istanbul on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the incident, vowing retaliation.
A spokesperson for the the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mustafa Bali, said his fighters downed the helicopter.
The Turkish military operation in Afrin, northern Syria, began on January 20.