Hundreds of civilians killed by Turkish fire in Syria: Human rights monitor

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Turkish army enters Syria. File photo: AP

ARA News

Aleppo – At least 277 civilians were killed by Turkish fire since Turkey’s intervention in Syrian last August, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on Sunday.

“Turkish bombardment continued targeting ISIS-controlled areas of Aleppo’s north-astern countryside, leading to more human losses among civilians who were targeted in their homes or other locations,” SOHR said.

The organization documented the death of 277 civilians since the Turkish intervention in Syria on the 24th of August 2016 until today the first of January 2017, including 65 children and 38 women, in addition to hundreds of civilian injuries by the Turkish airstrikes and bombardment in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo.

On December 23, Sharvan Darwish, a spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said at least 120 civilians were killed in ongoing Turkish airstrikes on al-Bab city. “Mostly children and women. This is an attempt by Turkey to cover up its defeats there,” Darwish said.

So far, the Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition for the opposition forces (SNC) has not condemned the death of civilians by Turkish bombardment, while the same Syrian opposition group in July asked the US-led coalition to end air support to the Syrian Democratic Forces in Manbij due to civilian deaths.

The Turks launched the Euphrates Shield Operation on the 24th of August with the goal to stop the Kurds from connecting their canton administrations into one federal region in northern Syria.

While the Turkish-backed rebels had more ease in taking the area near the Turkish border between al-Rai and Jarabulus, they are struggling to advance in the town of al-Bab which led to dozens of Turkish soldiers being killed and tanks taken by ISIS.

Turkey also moved hundreds of rebels from Aleppo City to northern Aleppo, which weakened the Syrian opposition in the city–that recently fell completely to regime forces.

Abu Abd Ashidaa, the head of Aleppo rebels, partially blamed Turkey for the fall of Aleppo in a speech released on December 29.

“In addition to that many factions left Aleppo by the orders of their backers, especially in the northern and eastern parts of Aleppo, as they left to fight in the rural North,” he said about Turkish-backed groups.

“So these territories were the first ones to fall in Aleppo. And the Euphrates Shield Operation in the rural North did nothing to ease the burden on Aleppo City. These countries advised many of the factions in Aleppo to leave with all kinds of promises, and this destroyed the soul of resistance among the rebel factions, so many of them left their lines of defense against the regime,” Ashidaa stated.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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