Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says its military helicopter has been shot down in northern Syria during an operation against US-backed Kurdish forces.

Mr Erdoğan who spoke on Saturday in Istanbul did not disclose the name of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units or YPG.

He said that those responsible would pay for their actions.

The Turkish military had not made a statement but a spokesman for the Kurdish militia, Mustafa Bali, confirmed his fighters downed the chopper in Raju, northwest Afrin.

“A military helicopter was downed. We will have losses, but they [perpetrators] will suffer the consequences,” Mr Erdoğan said, according to YeniSafak.

“Our security forces are engaging in a great fight. We destroyed many of their missile depots yesterday,” he added.

Turkey launched a military offensive on 20 January to uproot the YPG from Afrin in what has been dubbed Operation Olive Branch. The YPG are considered by Turkey to be an extension of an insurgency within its own borders.

Nineteen Turkish soldiers have died since the operation started.

Get more stories like this on Twitter & Facebook

AD: To get thousands of free final year project topics and materials sorted by subject to help with your research [click here]