ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - Turkish forces targeted a convoy entering the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Syrian Kurdistan late Thursday, killing a civilian and wounding a dozen others.
Kurdish officials said the convoy, which came under the attack of airstrikes, was comprised entirely of civilians delivering much-needed food and medicine from the Jazeera area, eastward into the embattled region under attack by Turkey for over a month.
In a Friday statement on its website, the Turkish army, however, said the fleet of 30-40 vehicles were transporting weapons and ammunition to US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighting off the Turks and Ankara's Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions.
The statement claimed the aid was also being delivered to Daesh, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (IS), a group which has had no known presence in Afrin since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.
A banner on the front of a bus damaged in the strikes read, "Enough with Turkish occupation and massacres."
YPG spokesperson Birusk Hasaka said the convoy struck from the air included hundreds of people. The shelling set some cars ablaze, wounding at least ten people and killing one passenger; he told Reuters. “The convoy was headed to stand in solidarity with the people of Afrin, carrying food aid and medical supplies."
The Turkish military released aerial video footage of its attack on the vehicles, saying it struck them just 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) southeast of the town.
“As always, all attention and sensitivity was shown so that civilians were not harmed,” read text accompanying the video.
To pass through the area, both civilians and Kurdish military reinforcements have to cross a Syrian regime-controlled zone between Afrin and Manbij, where US-forces are based.
A delegation of lawmakers from the Kurdistan Region Parliament made a similar journey into Afrin earlier this month to compile facts, meet with local officials, and show solidarity with their Kurdish brethren in Syria.
International law strictly prohibits disproportional attacks, "which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated," as stated in the 1977 additional protocals of the Geneva Conventions.
Editing by John J. Catherine