Turkish military killed children in bombardment on Syrian Kurdistan's Afrin
AFRIN, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan 24) – A child lost his life, and dozens were wounded during Turkey’s military operation on the Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) city of Afrin, Kurdish authorities there said on Wednesday.
“Twelve civilians were wounded by Turkish shelling on Afrin city, including three children who are in critical condition, and one who succumbed to his injuries,” Kurdistan 24 correspondent Akram Saleh reported.
It was the first time the Turkish military bombarded the city while the districts surrounding the area have been shelled for about 10 days.
In an online statement, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the People’s Protection Units (YPG) are a leading component, said the Turkish military, their Syrian rebel allies, and al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front shelled the city with rockets.
“The invading Turkish army and Al-Nusra terrorists (al-Qaeda branch) pounded Afrin this morning using Katyusha rockets, where the shelling targeted the densely-populated Tranda neighborhood,” the SDF statement read.
The SDF statement documented the names of nine of the civilians, among others, who were injured by the shelling on the city:
|Arhat Ahmad Aliko||9||Shoulder|
|Muhammad Ahmad Aliko||10||Shrapnel in different parts of body|
|Abdo Musa Umar||11||Leg|
|Guleh Muhammad Khalil||40||Various bruises|
|Ali Akram Aliko||40||Head and chest|
|Amina Abdullah Faraj||50||Leg, various shrapnel to body|
|Ezzet Sheikh Musa||58||Stomach, chest, and leg|
|Halima Ahmad Umar||70||Head|
|Muhammad Aliko||75||Head, knee|
Additionally, Turkey’s military launched several aerial raids on the Jandaris and Raju districts west of Afrin city.
A Kurdistan 24 team entered Jandaris for an hour after shelling stopped and took footage of the partially-destroyed town.
Dozens were injured, and several lost their lives in the bombing, Kurdistan 24 learned from Avrin hospital in Afrin city which has not given an accurate account of the casualties so far.
During a televised press conference, Khalil Sabri, the head of Avrin hospital, said that supplies were dwindling at the hospital, which has taken in 48 people who were killed and 86 others wounded from the recent Turkish attacks.
“We call on the United Nations to stop the Turkish aggression. The medical situation is getting worse in Afrin, and the medical supplies we have are about to run out,” he said.
Kurdistan 24 correspondent Saleh also reported there were ongoing aerial raids every hour for the past three days on three sides of Afrin: from the north, west, and south.
The aerial strikes caused tremendous damage to the residential areas, destroying some villages and residential complexes comprehensively.
On the ground, clashes at about eight front lines are ongoing at eight clashing points around the Afrin region, Kurdistan 24 learned from Kurdish military staff who preferred to remain unidentified due to the critical military and security situation.
On Wednesday, the SDF said Turkish airstrikes targeted the Sherawa district south of Afrin.
“Three villages of Berjik Sileman, Chaqmaq, and Andara were targeted by the Turkish air strikes and partially destroyed,” the SDF statement read.
Turkey’s operation against the YPG in Afrin began about two weeks ago and has included heavy bombardment but limited advances by its army or allied Syrian rebel groups.
Since the breakout of Syria’s conflict in 2011, the Syrian Kurdish YPG and its allies have set up three autonomous cantons in the north, including Afrin which borders Turkey.
Syrian rebel factions, which are fighting alongside Turkey in its offensive, control territory around Afrin. The Syrian army also holds a patch of land bordering the canton.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Kurdistan 24 correspondent Akram Saleh reported from Afrin city and Jandaris)