Turkish soldier martyred by explosive hidden in Quran
An improvised explosive hidden inside a Quran martyred a Turkish soldier on Tuesday during the country's operation against YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists in Syria's northwestern Afrin region, security sources said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Turkish military said one Turkish soldier, specialized Sgt. Orhan Sürmen, was martyred during the Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch in Afrin.
The sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said Surmen was martyred when an explosive hidden inside a copy of the Muslim holy book on the floor exploded when he tried to pick it up.
Sürmen was taking part in sweep and clear operations in the village of Darmashkanli in the Shaykh al-Hadid district, west of the city of Afrin.
The sources also said foreign intelligence services trained the terrorists on preparing explosives. It added that in addition to copies of the Quran, terrorists hide explosives in such materials as food and women's underwear.
The security sources said the terrorists use similar methods to hide explosives in Turkey's southeastern Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Hakkari, and Mardin provinces, areas known for attacks by the PKK, the YPG/PKK's parent terror group.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
Separately, another soldier was martyred during clashes with terrorists in Turkey's eastern Ağrı province, and three terrorists were neutralized.
The military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that the targets either surrendered or were killed or captured.