Several hundred people, including civilians, have been killed during Turkey’s military operation in Syria’s Afrin, Interfax news agency cited Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying on Wednesday.
Rockets fired from northern Syria into a Turkish border town killed a teenage girl and wounded another person on Wednesday, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported amid Ankara’s intensifying offensive on a Syrian Kurdish-controlled enclave.
It was the latest in a string of rocket attacks on the border towns of Reyhanli and Kilis since Jan. 20, when Turkey’s military launched a cross-border operation to drive out the Syrian Kurdish militia from the northern enclave of Afrin. Ankara considers the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, an extension of the outlawed Kurdish rebels fighting an insurgency inside Turkey.
Rockets fired in Afrin
Earlier today, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency said Syrian Kurdish fighters in Afrin fired two rockets Wednesday, hitting a house and a garden wall in Reyhanli.
Two people were hospitalized after the attack and one, 17-year-old Fatma Avlar, died from her wounds, the agency said. The attacks inside Turkey have so far killed four people, including Avlar. Two of the victims were Syrian refugees.
The Kurdish militia, meanwhile, accused Turkey of firing Katyusha rockets into Afrin, and reported that at least 12 people were wounded from the shelling that targeted the neighborhood of Ashrafieh. The wounded were brought to Afrin hospital.
As Turkey’s military operation in Syria continues, officials in the US-led international coalition against ISIS have warned the offensive could destabilize recent gains against ISIS along the Iraq-Syria border in the Euphrates River valley.
The top US general in Iraq said Tuesday, after a visit to a coalition outpost near the Iraq-Syrian border town of Qaim, that he is “very much concerned” the fight in Afrin could remove pressure on pockets of ISIS fighters in other parts of Syria.
- Erdogan vows to expand military operation from Afrin to Manbij
- Syrian Democratic Forces says Turkey lying with claim that ISIS is in Afrin
- Syrian regime opens roads for Kurdish forces in Afrin, US ‘not paying attention’
- US official: Turkey’s shelling of Afrin in Syria would hurt regional stability
- Turkish troops shell Afrin to oust US-backed Kurdish militia