The Turkish military says one of its soldiers has been killed in northern Syria, blaming "terrorists" for the attack and responded with a barrage of shelling.

Turkey's ministry of defense said a mortar attack on Sunday near the town of Afrin killed one soldier and wounded another. It said Turkey responded by shelling "terrorist targets."

Turkey and allied Syrian fighters took control of Afrin last year, expelling local Kurdish fighters that Ankara considers terrorists and setting off attacks against Turkey's presence there.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkey responded to the attack on its forces with a barrage of shells against several villages to the north of Afrin, mainly causing material damage. The Kurdish-run Hawar news agency reported the shelling but gave no details on casualties.