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Father of soldier burned to death by ISIL: Officials have not yet contacted us

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Aydın Taş, the father of Sefer Taş, one of two Turkish soldiers who were allegedly burned to death by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists after being taken hostage three weeks ago in the al-Bab region of northern Syria, said Turkish officials have not yet contacted them about his son.

Speaking to the Sputnik news agency on Friday, Taş said he had not been informed or contacted by any Turkish government or military official about his son’s alleged killing.

Taş, who lives in the village of Aşağı Eratan in the Aralık district of eastern Iğdır province, said he visited the gendarmerie station in the district to get information about his son; however, he was told that the authorities are still investigating the incident.

We don’t have any information [about our son’s death]. We were not given any information [by the authorities]. For the videos, they only said they are investigating. So, we are waiting. We don’t know the truth. We will continue to wait [for an official statement],” Taş said.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry has announced that it would examine the authenticity of a video released by ISIL on Thursday showing two Turkish soldiers being burned to death.

Speaking to BBC’s Turkish-language service, ministry officials said they would make a public statement after determining whether the video released by ISIL is authentic.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also kept quiet while the main opposition is demanding a response about the fate of the soldiers.

A news agency linked to ISIL said on Nov. 29 that ISIL forces had taken two Turkish soldiers captive in al-Bab. Photos and a video allegedly of the two soldiers were shared online on ISIL accounts late on Thursday. The Solhaber news portal has identified the soldiers as Fethi Şahin and Sefer Taş. The family of Taş said on Friday that they have not been contacted by officials and that they are hoping their son is alive.

The video came a day after 16 Turkish soldiers were killed and 31 sustained injuries in ISIL attacks in al-Bab.

With the latest casualties, the total number of Turkish soldiers killed since August in Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield has reached 37, with 31 wounded.


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