Syrian Hospital.At least 13 people were killed and 27 injured in the shelling in an area controlled by Turkey-backed fighters.
|Members of the Syria Civil Defence (White Helmets) sift through the rubble at al-Shifa hospital following shelling of the rebel-held city of Afrin in northern Syria [Bakr Al-Kasem/AFP]|
At least 13 people, including two medical personnel, were killed and several injured in two artillery attacks.
In the northern Syrian city of Afrin, which is controlled by Turkish-backed fighters, activists and an aid group announced on Sunday. The first attack hit a residential area and the second hit a hospital shortly afterwards, civil defense sources told Reuters.
On social media, they showed victims amid the ruins of al-Shifa hospital, which was decommissioned after the attack. It was not immediately clear who was behind the shelling, which allegedly came from areas where Syrian government troops and Kurdish-led fighters are located.
The governor of Turkey‘s Hatay province, across the border from Afrin, and Turkey’s Defense Ministry also said 13 civilians were killed and 27 injured in the attack, adding that it was rocket fire and artillery hit the hospital.
The governor’s office blamed Syrian Kurdish groups for the attack. Ankara condemned the attack, saying it was launched by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which form the backbone of the US government. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF said they were not behind the attacks.
Ankara regards the YPG as a “terrorist” group linked to the Kurdish separatist group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in Turkey. The US and the European Union refer to the PKK as a “terrorist group”. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 18. .
“The bombing targeted different areas of the city and the hospital,” said Syrian observatory director Rami Abdurrahman, according to AFP News.
The artillery fire originated in the north of Aleppo province, “where the Iranian and Syrian militia regimes, near areas controlled by Kurdish forces,” he added.
visits health centers in opposition areas; confirms hospital was attacked by two rockets that destroyed polyclinic, emergency room and delivery rooms; SAMS said two of the 13 dead were hospital staff and two ambulances from the drivers.
Eleven employees were injured. SAMS said the hospital is one of the largest facilities in northern Syria, providing thousands of medical services every month, and its coordinates are part of the UN-led conflict resolution mechanism.
Afrin was largely liberated from YPG fighters by a Turkish military operation in 2018. Ankara now maintains a large military presence in the region and dispatches thousands of troops.