The Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced on February 4 that an officer was killed as a result of explosion in the northern Syrian town of al-Bab.
The slain officer was identified as 1st Sergeant Suleyman Demirel, who served as an explosives specialist in the Turkish Gendarmerie.
Syrian opposition sources said the Turkish officer was killed when an improvised explosive device, which he was attempting to dismantle, went off. No other casualties were reported as a result of the incident.
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) February 4, 2021
Demirel was the second Turkish service member to get killed in Syria since the start of the year. On February 3, a Turkish soldier who was mortally injured in a recent attack in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib was pronounced dead.
The Syrian war has claimed the lives of 252 to 309 Turkish service members so far. The highest death toll was on 27 February, 2020, when Syrian airstrikes hit a Turkish mechanized infantry battalion, composed of about 400 soldiers, near Balyun in Greater Idlib. At least 34 soldiers were killed. Dozens others were wounded, some seriously.
Despite sustaining heavy losses, Turkey continues to build up its military presence in Syria, especially in Greater Idlib and the northeastern region. This is only leading to more tensions.
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