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Turkey: 1 soldier killed, 3 wounded in Kurd attack in Syria

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Syrian Kurdish militants carried out an attack Tuesday in a Turkish-controlled region in northern Syria killing a soldier and wounding three others, Turkish officials said. The Defense Ministry said the attack by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, occurred in the so-called "Euphrates Shield region," which Turkey and Turkish-allied Syrian opposition forces cleared of Islamic State militants in a cross-border operation in 2016.

The ministry did not provide further details but said Turkey's military responded by striking at YPG targets in the area. Pro-Kurdish media said Turkish troops retaliated by shelling. It was not immediately known if the retaliatory strikes resulted in casualties.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, reported clashes between Kurdish fighters and Turkish troops and Turkey-backed gunmen in the northern province of Aleppo. It also said that Turkish troops bombarded a Kurdish-held area in northern Syria.

Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of outlawed Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey. In northwestern Syria, the government's air force dropped dozens of barrel bombs in rebel-held parts of Hama and Idlib provinces killing at least one woman and wounding others, according to the Observatory and the opposition's Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets.

Opposition activists said scores of people fled their homes to safer areas farther north in Idlib. Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the army targeted the positions of insurgents in northern parts of Hama province after what it called repeated attacks by militants. SANA also reported that insurgents shelled nearby government-held villages wounding one person and causing material damage.

The violence in Idlib and Hama provinces is in violation of a truce reached in September between Russia and Turkey and back rival groups in the Syrian conflict. The truce has been repeatedly violated over the past weeks.

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