Turkish army bombs Syria’s Azaz, civilian casualties reported

Turkish tanks and armored vehicles patrol the border with Syria. File photo

ARA News

Aleppo – The Turkish Army and allied rebels shelled Azaz District in Syria’s northern Aleppo Governorate. Activists and eyewitnesses reported on Monday, that there had been at least ten civilian fatalities and that more than a dozen others were wounded.

The Turkish Army and rebel fighters participating in the Euphrates Shield Operation bombarded the town of Dwebik with heavy artillery. Dwebik and several adjacent villages are held by the Islamic State (ISIS).

Turkey’s military said in a statement that its forces had supported Syrian rebels by bombing an ISIS headquarters in the area. However, local sources said that most of the casualties were civilians.

“The Turkish shelling hit a populated neighborhood in Dwebik, killing 11 civilians and injuring 15 others,” local media activist Alwan al-Halabi told ARA News.

The bombardment also caused massive destruction to residential buildings in the town. Doctor Hassan Othman, a member of Dwebik’s medical team, told ARA News that, “local rescue teams are still searching for victims under the ruble.”

“Some of the injured who have been pulled from under the ruins were seriously injured,” Dr Othman said. “We appeal to the United Nations and NGOs to provide assistance, as medical support is urgently needed.”

Ahmed Arraj, a member of the Syrian Democratic Council in Afrin, told ARA News that Turkey and allied Islamist groups have been “purposively bombing civilians.”

“We all know that Turkey has a broad network of informers in the region, especially in ISIS-held areas. Thus, it’s not possible that they haven’t known about the presence of dozens of civilians in the targeted neighborhood. All casualties were civilians,” Arraj said.

Reporting by: Saman Jiwan | Source: ARA News

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