Turkish air strike hits hospital in Syria’s Afrin, at least 16 dead


Beirut: A Turkish bombing raid struck the main hospital in the Kurdish-controlled Syrian town of Afrin on Friday, killing 16 civilians, including 2 pregnant women, No medical staff were among the dead.

The Kurdish Red Crescent medical service, which supports the hospital, confirmed to AFP the hospital was hit but did not give a toll.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Turkish air strike “directly” hit the medical facility.

Serwan Bery, co-chair of the Kurdish Red Crescent and based in the northeast Syria town of Qamishli, said no hospital staff were known to have died. “There was bombing on the city during the day that got close to the hospital, but this evening it was directly hit”. It was the only functioning hospital in Afrin city.

According to the officials, Turkey and allied rebels have waged a nearly two-month offensive on the Afrin region, which is held by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Pro-Ankara forces were now on the verge of besieging Afrin, and terrified civilians have poured out of the city. At least 15,000 people left Afrin on Friday.

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