Turkey bombs Kurdish communities near Aleppo, casualties reported


Kurdish fighters of the YPG [leading SDF member] in Afrin bid farewell to comrades killed during clashes against ISIS. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Afrin – Turkey’s military on Saturday shelled Kurdish communities in Afrin District, north of Aleppo city. The bombardment reportedly caused dozens of civilian casualties.

Dilovan Mirkhan, a human rights activist, told ARA News that Turkey struck Afrin with dozens of artillery shells. “The Turkish Army –stationed on the border with Syria– bombed residential buildings in the Mosako town, in Afrin,” he said.

At least eight Kurdish civilians were killed and 19 others wounded in the attack. Mirkhan said that the bombardment also leveled a large number of civilian homes.

“[The] bodies of eight civilian victims were collected after the attack,” Mirkhan reported. “Many others remained stranded under the rubble.”

Rescue teams have continued the search for survivors, sifting through the concrete rubble but with little to show for their harrowing work. Turkish forces also shelled Shadiya village in Afrin’s countryside with heavy artillery. At least two civilians were killed and several others were wounded.

Saturday’s barrage is not atypical. Last week, Turkey’s military shelled a People’s Protection Units (YPG) headquarters in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah Governorate. Military sources reported that the Turkish Army also hit adjacent Kurdish fighting positions in Ain Diwar village. Scores of YPG fighters were wounded in the hour-long bombardment.

“The Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party and its allies are trying to hit the Kurdish forces in Syria in support of Islamic State terrorists,” a Kurdish YPG officer told ARA News.

“We’ll not allow Turkey to continue those violations at the border,” the YPG leadership said in an earlier statement. “We are ready to respond and we’ll do whatever it takes in order to stop this offensive against our people.”

Reporting by: Siman Jiwan and Qehreman Miste | Source: ARA News

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