180 civilians killed in Turkish operation in Syria's Afrin
12 Feb 2018, 20:25 ( 2 Months ago) | updated: 13 Feb 2018, 02:04 ( 2 Months ago)
The Turkish military campaign against Syria's Kurdish-controlled Afrin enclave in northern Syria has so far killed 180 civilians and wounded 413 others, according to a statement released Monday by the Kurdish forces.
The civilian causalities include women, children and elderly people, the statement said, adding that the names of the wounded and dead are documented in the Afrin hospital.
It added that the Turkish campaign, which started on Jan. 20 against Afrin, killed 98 fighters with the Kurdish-led forces.
As for the Turkish side and the allied Syrian rebels fighting against the Kurdish forces in Afrin, the statement said 862 fighters of the Turkey-backed forces were killed.
The statement said the Turkish air force carried out 668 airstrikes on Afrin, adding that the Turkey-backed forces carried out as many as 2,645 "random attacks" with various weaponry.
It said that the Kurdish-led forces succeeded to shoot down two Turkish helicopters and two drones, killing 11 Turkish soldiers.
The Kurdish forces also destroyed 51 armored vehicles and damaged 15 others, the statement added.
Since Jan. 20, Turkish troops, together with allied Syrian rebels, have been conducting a cross-border military operation in a bid to drive the Kurdish militiamen out of Afrin.
Citing the need to protect its national security, Turkey launched the cross-border "Operation Olive Branch" in Afrin in January to oust the fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, regarded by Ankara as the Syrian affiliate of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party, which has been fighting for autonomy in the southeast of Turkey.
A recent UN report said at least 15,000 people have been displaced since the start of the Turkish military operation against Kurdish fighters in Afrin.