Turkish airstrikes kill 7 civilians in Syria's Kurdish-held Afrin amid ongoing showdown

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-27 05:25:34|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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DAMASCUS, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- A total of seven members of the same family were killed Friday by Turkish airstrikes that targeted the Kurdish-held Afrin enclave in northern Syria, the latest in a string of civilian casualties that have fallen by the week-long Turkish campaign.

Syria's official SANA news agency said the family members were killed when the Turkish warplanes targeted the Mobata area in the countryside of Afrin near the Turkish border.

The Turkish shelling also killed many more civilians, most of whom are still stuck under the rubble, said SANA, adding that tens of schools in Afrin have shut down due to the ongoing Turkish military campaign that started last Saturday.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the Turkish warplanes targeted the village of Khalil in Afrin after committing the massacre against the family in Mobata.

Meanwhile, the SDF said that 59 civilians have been killed and 134 others wounded during the week-long Turkish offensive.

It added that 43 fighters with the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) have also been killed in addition to 308 of the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Turkish forces during the campaign.

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group placed the death toll of the Turkish-backed FSA at 65, adding that seven of them were Turkish soldiers.

The observatory said that seven other Turkish fighters are missing in the countryside of Afrin, adding that the Turkish side is trying to know their destiny through mediators.

The UN has recently said that an estimated 5,000 people fled Afrin as a result of the Turkish campaign on Afrin.

Dubbed the "Olive Branch", the Turkish campaign aims at eradicating the Kurdish fighters in Afrin and other areas in northern Syria to create a buffer zone, Turkey has for long been aiming for.

A day earlier, the Kurdish local administration in Afrin called on the Syrian army to deploy in Afrin and for the Syrian state to assume its national duty in defending Afrin from the Turkish attack.