Turkey Attacks Hospital in Syria's Afrin, Killing Nine


The Observatory said that almost 200,000 people have fled the region of Afrin in recent days and entered government-controlled areas nearby, adding that 11 people were killed Saturday when a shell hit a truck carrying fleeing people.

Turkey and its Free Syrian Army allies have captured several villages in their push to capture the city, reports say.

At least 15,000 people left Afrin on Friday, according to the Observatory.

On the edge of Ghouta, a sprawling semi-rural area within mortar range of central Damascus, hundreds of civilians were still streaming out of destroyed towns, carrying scant belongings in bags and bundles.

Thousands of people left eastern Ghouta on Saturday alone as government forces stepped up an offensive on the rebel enclave, according to Syrian and Russian officials.

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Along with Eastern Ghouta, the Kurdish-held town is now among the worsening flashpoints, as the conflict in Syria enters its eighth year.

Elite forces of the Syrian army have kicked-off a new assault operation against armed rebel groups in Damascus' East Ghouta region, Al-Masdar News reports.

Should the government recapture Eastern Ghouta, it would deal the hardest blow to the rebels since December 2016, when al-Assad regained full control of the northern city of Aleppo following a Russian-backed offensive.

"We were around 66 families in the basement, with seven people per family", Hussein Samid said, pausing on the roadside to smoke a cigarette.

Since beginning of invasion of Afrin, on January 20, 245 civilians have died, including 41 children, victims of Turkish and ELS attacks, and anor 7 in Turkish territory because of projectile shots of Kurdish militia Popular Protection Units (YPG); While each side has suffered around 400 military casualties, including a Spanish volunteer struggling in Kurdish ranks. They insisted "only terrorists" are being attacked.

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He added that a total of 3,569 terrorists have been "neutralized" in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch.

On Wednesday, Turkish bombing raids killed ten fighters loyal to the Syrian regime, which has deployed pro-government forces to the fray after the Kurds asked for help.

Exhausted and shell-shocked civilians streamed out of eastern Ghouta for the second consecutive day heading to buses arranged by the government to transport them to a center for identification and relief.

Thousands of terrified Syrian civilians fled for their lives on Saturday, as they sought to escape two raging offensives in a rebel bastion outside Damascus and a northwestern Kurdish enclave.

"Turkey razes the ground our homes in Afrin and indiscriminately kills our children, women, and men every day there".

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Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organization that is a Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade against the Turkish state.