362 Daesh killed in northwest Syria: Turkish minister

Turkish army killed 362 Daesh members and injured 123 others in its artillery strikes on northwestern Syria in 2016, which it carried out in retaliation for attacks on its border areas, Turkish defense minister said Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference at the regional governor's office in south-central Kilis province, Ismet Yilmaz told reporters that the Turkish army had carried out 1,117 artillery strikes to achieve 146 objectives in northwestern Syria between Jan. 9 and April 12.

Kilis province has been hit by a number of rockets fired from Syria in recent days and months. Rocket projectiles fired from Al-Bab, a Syrian region under Daesh control near the Turkish border, on Monday and Tuesday injured 20 people, two of whom later succumbed to their wounds.

More rockets were fired from the same region Wednesday, but there were no reports of any casualties.

He said that two people injured this week from rockets fired from Syria remained in critical condition, while the health condition of five others was improving.

Also, four people were killed in January and March when rockets fired from the Al-Bab region hit a school and a residential area.

Speaking about material damages caused by the rockets, Yilmaz said: "All losses will be covered by the state".

The minister said the Turkish army also destroyed 36 Katyusha (name of Russian multi-rocket launcher vehicles) positions, 15 sniper positions, 40 headquarter buildings, 19 mortar positions, seven ammunition dumps, a tank and a cannon, 17 improvised explosives and 10 car bombs within the same time period in northwestern Syria.

He also mentioned that Turkey was working towards improving security in its border areas.

Turkey recently completed 300 kilometers (186.4 miles) out of the 911-kilometer (559.2-mile) long planned rocket-resistant concrete wall along its border with Syria.

Turkish Interior Ministry gave nearly 250 million Turkish liras to governorates of its border provinces of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Kilis, Gaziantep and Hatay for the construction of the wall, government sources told Anadolu Agency this week.

Yilmaz also said that security forces had caught 701 people trying to approach the Turkish-Syrian border within the same time period; 262 of them were remanded in custody, 97 were released on condition of judicial control, while others were deported.

Source: Anadolu Agency