A Kurdish man rests in hospital in al-Zahraa on Thursday. He was reportedly wounded when a convoy entering Afrin came under Turkish fire. Photo: Georges Ourfalian/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Rojava authorities accused the Turkish army of targeting a civilian convoy traveling to Afrin on Thursday, killing one and injuring 12.
Turkish strikes have continued in the area on Friday, preventing travel into Afrin, leadership of the Kurdish self-autonomous region in northern Syria stated in a press conference.
A convoy of vehicles came under Turkish fire when it crossed from regime-controlled area into Afrin, near al-Nubl, conflict monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
were that the convoy consisted of civilians from eastern cantons of Rojava bringing food and medicine to Afrin.
Syria’s state-run SANA news reported they were civilians bringing aid, including fuel, to Afrin.
AFP reported that both civilians and fighters were present in the convoy.
Photos of the convoy showed several civilian vehicles and a bus, some were engulfed in flames.
The Turkish army stated that it had bombed a convoy of some 30-40 YPG vehicles that were transporting ammunition and weapons into Afrin.
The army’s statement stressed that “utmost importance was given not to harm any civilians.”
Rojava leadership said that the convoy had passed a regime checkpoint, proving that they were not armed.
Ankara has repeatedly denied that any civilians have been killed or injured in its more than one month of operations on the Kurdish canton.
On Thursday, Pervin Buldan, new co-chair of Turkey’s opposition HDP, slammed the government’s denial. “It is a lie,” she declared.
The Turkish army claimed there is a concerted propaganda effort to blacken their offensive, alleging that “fake photographs and videos about the Turkish Armed Forces are being used to create a negative perception about Operation Olive Branch."
The statement was released after reports emerged of “executions
” of civilians by Turkey’s Syrian proxies, though it did not directly address the reports.
Human Rights Watch has expressed concern about possible “unlawful” Turkish attacks resulting in civilian deaths.
The Observatory has documented the deaths of at least 112 civilians in the fight for Afrin.
Damaged and burning vehicles from the convoy sit near an Afrin-regime crossing. Photos: Georges Ourfalian/AFP