Syria: at least 18 dead in artillery fire on the city of Afrin

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Artillery fire on the town of Afrin, held by pro-Turkish rebels and located in Aleppo province, claimed the lives of at least 18 people, including 14 civilians, on Saturday, according to the Syrian Observatory of human rights.

At least 18 people, including 14 civilians, were killed on Saturday, June 12, in Syria, in artillery fire on the city of Afrin, where a hospital was notably affected by the bombardments in this rebel-held area. pro-Turkish, an NGO reported.

A doctor, three hospital staff, at least two women and two children, but also a rebel commander, are among the victims of the bombings that hit al-Chifaa hospital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (OSDH).

In a hospital courtyard, an AFP correspondent filmed White Helmets rescuers stepping over the rubble-strewn and blood-stained ground to evacuate the dead carried on stretchers.

A new assessment from the Observatory in the evening shows 18 dead and 23 injured, after an initial assessment of 16 dead.

“The shots targeted several areas of the city and hit the hospital,” the director of the Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahmane, told AFP.

“The majority of the victims perished in the bombardments on the hospital,” the NGO said in a statement, stressing that the toll could increase while among the wounded some are in critical condition.

The artillery fire was fired from territories in northern Aleppo province “where militias loyal to Iran and the regime are deployed, near areas of Kurdish forces,” OSDH said.

In a statement, the main Kurdish-dominated coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), denied any involvement in the shootings.

Located in the province of Aleppo, the Kurdish region of Afrin was conquered in March 2018 by Turkish forces and their Syrian auxiliaries, who had dislodged the main Kurdish militia.

The sector, like all territories held by Proturc rebels, is also regularly shaken by targeted assassinations, attacks or explosions.

Thursday, in northwestern Syria, at least 12 people, including fighters, were killed, according to the OSDH, in the Syrian regime’s bombardments on the Idleb region, the last major jihadist and rebel stronghold in Syria .

Launched in 2011 with the repression of demonstrations calling for reforms in the wake of the Arab Spring, the Syrian war has become more complex over the years with the involvement of foreign powers, the appearance of jihadist groups and the proliferation of belligerents in the country. ground.

The conflict has claimed nearly 500,000 lives, according to OSDH, and thrown millions of people into exile.

With AFP

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