BEIRUT: Turkey’s defense minister said 18 Syrian government soldiers have been captured during its military operations in northeast Syria, including two who are wounded.
Hulusi Akar, defense minister, said during a visit to Turkish border units, that Ankara was in talks with Russia to hand over the captured soldiers. His comments were carried on the official ministry website Thursday.
It was not clear when the soldiers were captured but the minister said they were taken southwest of the town of Ras al-Ayn, which has been at the center of a Turkish military invasion of northeastern Syria.
Turkey halted its military operation into Syria through two separate cease-fires brokered by the U.S. and Russia. Under the deal, Kurdish fighters would withdraw to 30 kilometers (19 miles) away from the Turkish border and Syrian government forces would take positions along the borders.
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