Thursday, 24 Jan 2019

Turkey says it won't hand over Afrin in northern Syria to the government in Damascus


IllustrationIllustration -  Turkey says it won't hand over Afrin in northern Syria to the government in Damascus after it removes the Kurdish YPG militia, as its military and allied rebel forces are preparing to attack the encircled city.

According to the Syrian Human Rights Watch, on Thursday, thousands of people continued to flee air raids, artillery shelling and the threat of an impending land invasion from Africa to Nubul and Zhara in the northern countryside of Aleppo, which is under the control of the Syrian government.

Twelve people were killed and 60 wounded over the past 24 hours in Afrin city and its outskirts, the UK-based group reported. Kurdish sources said the death toll is likely to increase as many wounded are in critical condition.

"Our staff ??? doing their best, but our rooms are filled with screaming wounded and people suffering from pain, because we lack medical supplies," said Dr. Joanne Chicika, head of the city hospital in Afrin, the dpa news agency reported.

The Turkish offensive against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG)  in Africa began on January 20. Ankara believes that the YPG to be a "terrorist organization" connected with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-old armed rebellion inside Turkey.

The Turkish bombardment of Afrina forced about 10,000 people to flee from their homes in the last 24 hours. Arab and Turkish television broadcasts on Thursday showed that residents leave Afrinn cars and on foot. The Turkish DHA TV showed trucks loaded with personal belongings lining the road out of Afrin - the only remaining exit.

Those who stayed behind formed long queues outside shops to buy bread and other foodstuffs in preparation for a full-fledged siege by Turkish and allied forces



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