ANKARA/CAIRO (Reuters) - The Turkish military said it lost contact on Tuesday with two of its soldiers deployed in northern Syria, although it stopped short of confirming an Islamic State claim that the militant group had kidnapped a pair of Turkish soldiers.
The army said that contact was lost at around 3:30 p.m. local time (1230 GMT). It did not give any further details.
Islamic State’s Amaq news agency earlier said that Islamic State fighters had captured two Turkish soldiers near a village west of al-Bab in the Aleppo countryside. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the authenticity of the claim.
Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria in August, sending tanks, fighter jets and special forces over the border. It aims to sweep Islamic State from a roughly 90-km (56-mile) strip of the Syrian border and prevent Kurdish militia groups from seizing territory in their wake.
Islamic State is believed to have kidnapped a Turkish soldier near Turkey’s border with Syria in the summer of 2015. His whereabouts are still unknown.
Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Ali Abdelaty; additional reporting by Orhan Coskun; Editing by David Dolan