Feb 27 2018

192 civilians killed in Turkey's Afrin operation – report

Turkey's military operation in Syria’s Afrin has killed 192 civilians, the area’s health council said.

Twenty-eight children and 23 women were among the dead, the council said, according to Kurdish Nalia Radio & Television (NRT). The number of injured civilians totalled 574, including 69 children, it said.

Turkey says there have been no civilian casualties since it began the incursion into Afrin on Jan. 20 to battle Kurdish militants that it accuses of being terrorists. The invasion has drawn criticism from the United States and European Union, which say it detracts from the war on Islamic State (ISIS) and increases instability in war-torn Syria.

The Turkish military said on Tuesday that 2,083 terrorists of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Islamic State (ISIS) have been “neutralised” in the campaign, which it calls ‘Operation Olive Branch’.

Turkey says it was forced to enter Afrin to defend its borders against the YPG and its allies the PKK. The YPG forms part of the Syrian Defence Forces (SDF), which has fought alongside the Western alliance in battles against ISIS.