ALEPPO – Turkey’s military continued its bombardment on areas held by the Kurdish forces in northern Syria for the second consecutive day, causing dozens of casualties among civilians, local sources reported on Sunday.
The Turkish artillery shelling, which concentrated on the areas of Afrin and Azaz in the northern countryside of Aleppo, has coincided with heavy mortar shelling on the same areas by militants of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.
“The Turkey-Nusra attacks hit residential neighborhoods in several villages near Azaz and Afrin, including Menagh, Miremin, Malkiyah, Meranaz, Tannab and Kashtaar,” rights activist Ahmed Qadamani told ARA News in Aleppo.
“At least 23 civilians were killed and dozens more were wounded under the heavy bombardment by the Turkish army and Nusra Front’s militants,” the local source reported.
In the meantime, media activists in the targeted areas have documented the names of the victims who fell under the ongoing Turkish offensive.
“All civilian victims are being documented carefully by the local documentation centers in northern Aleppo, in a bid to deliver those documents to the United Nations to stop this brutal offensive against civilians,” Qadamani said.
This comes after the Kurdish YPG forces and allied factions from the western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) drove Islamist rebels from a former military airport south of Azaz town in Aleppo province, near the Turkish border. The bombardment by the Turkish military was aimed at impeding the Kurdish progress against Islamist rebels in Syria’s northern Aleppo province.
On Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: “Today retaliation was taken under the rules of engagement against forces that represented a threat in Azaz and the surrounding area.” Davutoglu demanded the Kurdish forces to withdraw from the Menagh air base and evacuate all areas near Azaz. “We will retaliate against every step (by the YPG),” he said. “The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding areas and will not go close to it again.”
Reporting by: Hozan Mamo
Source: ARA News