250 Turkey-backed Syrian rebels killed in cross-border offensive

A total of 251 Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have been killed in a military operation launched in October against Kurdish-led militias in northeast Syria, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday.

The Syrian National Army – the Turkey-backed umbrella organisation of rebel groups previously known as the Free Syrian Army – spearheaded Operation Peace Spring, the cross-border offensive launched on Oct. 9 against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

One soldier from the SNA is missing, and 760 have been wounded in the operation, Anadolu reported. The Turkish military has lost 14 soldiers in the operation in northeast Syria.

Ankara views the SDF as a terrorist group due to its links to outlawed Kurdish insurgents that have been fighting in Turkey for decades.

The military operation broke the SDF’s hold over northeastern Syrian territories bordering Turkey, and has placed a 32 km deep zone between the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn under Turkish control.