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More than 100 civilians killed in Afrin: health authority

By Rudaw 1/2/2018
A Kurdish girl cries at Afrin Hospital where her wounded relatives are receiving treatment after reportedly being injured in a Turkish rocket attack on Wednesday. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP
A Kurdish girl cries at Afrin Hospital where her wounded relatives are receiving treatment after reportedly being injured in a Turkish rocket attack on Wednesday. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The number of civilians killed after 13 days of Turkey’s offensive in Afrin has passed 100, according to local health authorities. 

Afrin Hospital stated that 104 civilians have been killed and 165 injured.

The casualties come from across the Kurdish canton in northwestern Syria. The Turkish army and its Syrian proxies have “targeted every village and district,” Jiwan Mohammed, head of Afrin Hospital, said in a press conference on Thursday. 

He praised the “hard work” of the hospital employees. 

Turkey has denied reports of civilian casualties. “No civilian has been harmed in Operation Olive Branch” by Turkish forces or their allied Syrian militias, Turkey’s National Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Tuesday. 

A UK-based conflict monitor and Russia’s Foreign Ministry, however, have both confirmed civilian casualties. 

The most recent figures from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the civilian death toll at 68, including 21 children and 12 women. Another at least 185 have been injured.

Most of the civilians killed are Syrians displaced by conflict in other areas of the country, according to the PYD, the ruling political party in Rojava, northern Syria.

According to UN figures, 323,000 people are living in Afrin and nearby areas under Kurdish control. Of them, 192,000 are in need of humanitarian aid and 125,000 are IDPs.

The Observatory also reported on Thursday that Turkish-backed Syrian militias had stripped and mutilated the body of a member of the all-female Kurdish YPJ, stating it has video footage of the incident.

Maria Zakharova, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, said in a press conference on Wednesday that hundreds have been killed in Turkey’s military operation and civilians are among the dead.

Turkey claims major advance

Turkish forces and their allied Syrian militias took Bulbul town, 30km north of Afrin city close to the border with Turkey, on Thursday, Turkish media reported. 

With these advances on Thursday, Turkish media reported that Turkish forces are now in control of a large area of northern Afrin. 

The Kurdish-led SDF confirmed clashes have taken place in the Bulbul area and reported they have destroyed a Turkish APC armoured vehicle “and kill[ed] everybody inside in an ambush in Qarnah village in Bulbul town.”

They also clashed with Turkish forces in Sahra village on Thursday afternoon, 2km northwest of Bulbul, where “at least 20 soldiers were killed,” the SDF statement claimed.

Damascus appeals to UN

Syrian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that it sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council regarding Turkish “lies, which no longer convince anyone,” reported state-run SANA news agency.

The Ministry accused Turkey of trying to “justify its military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic based on the concept of self-defense,” read the letter.

Calling the Turkish offensive a “blatant aggression,” Syria called on the Security Council to not allow Turkey’s use of force contrary to international law. 

Turkey launched its Operation Olive Branch on January 20 with the stated aim of clearing its borders of “terrorists,” referring to Kurdish groups Ankara alleges have ties to the PKK.

Updated at 11:00 pm


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Moz | 1/2/2018
This is all the fault of the evil iranians everything is
sam | 1/2/2018
ypg terrorists has two choice. leave or die as simple as that
guest2002 | 1/2/2018
Turks deserve no mercy, since they have never shown mercy to others!!
Kurdo | 1/2/2018
The world is really sick. The whole world is watching while civilians are being killed. Regardless of what YPG have done against DAESH Turks have no rights to attack Kurds. Erdogan is a liar, a dictator, a thief. Yet, the world is watching while that dictator attacks Kurds. The whole world knows Erdogan and Turkey supported, and is still supporting ISIS and other Jihadists, but they decide to support that despot, that sick dictator. The world is so sick. they turned the blind eye to the situation eventhough they know they shouldn't. Not a word from Barzani, not a word from the rest of the world. Over 100 civilians have been killed so far, probably many soldiers from YPG and many turkish soldiers too. The world is very sick, because they all know the biggest threath is Erdogan, not Kurds, not YPG or PKK, but they decide to support a dictator, a simple thief. For them only ine thing matter, business, that's it. Humanity, democracy and all other things are just BS, just empty talk. So for my brothers, do not trust anyone, do not expect anything from anyone. Never ever trust politians, never. Politicians are very good on ONE thing: lie. I feel very sorry for my brothers, I feel very frustrated like many other. I hape from bottom of my heart, that YPG will finish the turkish army. I hope YPG will kill them all, because that is what those aggresive dogs deserve. Please rudaw publish this.
Levi Steinberg | 1/2/2018
why don't you speak about the kurdish civilians ENSLAVED TORTURED AN KILLED BY PKK (peshmerge SDF YPG PYD ISIS) in Siria?! you know very well that 350 thousands kurds escaped to turkey NOT TO BARZANIS LAND! in order to escape the OPPRESSIONE done by PKK (PESHMERGE SDF YPG PYD ISIS)...

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