On June 12, at least 16 people were killed and dozens others were wounded when a barrage of rockets struck the Turkish-occupied Syrian city of Afrin in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
Most of the rockets landed in residential areas in the city. The al-Shifa’a hospital was hit. There, a doctor, three nurses were killed. The White Helmets organization also announced that three of its members had been killed.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the remaining casualties included three women, a child and a commander of Turkish-backed forces.
The rockets were reportedly launched from a strip of land south of Afrin held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian Arab Army.
The Turkish Ministry of National Defense said that Kurdish forces were behind the deadly attack. Nevertheless, Farhad Shami, director of the SDF’s Media Center, denied these allegations in an official statement.
2⃣Saldırıyı gerçekleştiren terör örgütü PKK/YPG’ye ait hedefler derhal ateş altına alınmış, doğrudan masum sivilleri hedef alan bu alçak saldırı Rusya Federasyonu tarafına bildirilmiştir. İnsanlık düşmanı teröristler bu saldırıların hesabını misliyle vereceklerini bilmelidir. pic.twitter.com/N0LasRlUVu
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) June 12, 2021
In response to the attack, the Turkish artillery pounded SDF positions in the town of Tell Rifaat and its surroundings to the south of Afrin. No casualties were reported.
The deadly rocket attack may lead to a serious military escalation between Turkish forces and the SDF in northern Aleppo. The two sides share a long frontline in the region, from Manbij all the way to Afrin.
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