The Turkish armed forces claimed to have hit 51 ISIS targets in al-Bab. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Eighty-eight civilians have been killed in Turkish airstrikes on al-Bab in the past 24 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
“SOHR was informed that the airstrikes led to the death of 16 civilians today, including 3 children,” the conflict monitor stated on Friday, bringing the total number of civilians “killed by Turkish airstrikes in al-Bab city to 88 in the past 24 hours, including 24 children and 13 women.”
The monitor reported that Turkey carried out a “massacre” in al-Bab on Thursday, killing 72 civilians. Some died because of lack of medical supplies and health care professionals, the Observatory added.
The al-Bab Military Council, a local body formed to oversee the liberation of the city, released a statement on Twitter on Friday stating that more than 84 people were killed and more than 45 injured in airstrikes on Thursday.
The Turkish armed forces announced on Friday that they had “neutralized” 40 ISIS militants in the al-Bab area since Thursday night, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. The Turkish General Staff claimed to have hit 51 ISIS targets in the city, including destroying ISIS’ military headquarters.
The airstrikes come after 16 Turkish soldiers were killed and over 30 wounded by ISIS this week as Turkish forces and their allied Free Syrian Army (FSA) pushed deeper into the militant-held city.
Turkey has been supporting hundreds of Free Syrian Army fighters in northwestern Syria with tanks, artillery, airstrikes and a small number of ground troops since they launched the Euphrates Shield operation on August 24. The goal of the military operation is to clear the border area of all “terrorists,” Turkish officials have said, naming both ISIS and Kurdish forces.
Turkey’s Defense Minister Fikri Isik said on Thursday that more than 1,000 ISIS militants had been killed since the military operation Euphrates Shield began, Anadolu Agency reported.