Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

More than 150000 civilians 'have fled Afrin' since Turkey's offensive

More than 150000 civilians 'have fled Afrin' since Turkey's offensive

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air strikes on a rebel pocket in eastern Ghouta killed 30 people gathering to leave to government lines on Saturday.

The non-binding motion approved on Thursday calls for Turkey to halt its Operation Olive branch as well as urging the country to remove its troops from Afrin, where Ankara is targeting YPG terrorists in an offensive launched almost two months ago.

Horrifying footage from the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta in Syria shows women and children running for their lives as the dust settles after yet another government air strike.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.

Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi also said at a briefing Saturday that Russian Federation is concerned about signs that USA forces could be preparing missile attacks on Syria.

Meanwhile, Hevi Mustafa, a top member of the civil authority governing the Afrin region, said that more than 150,000 people have been displaced in the last few days from Afrin town.

Syria's envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said 40,000 people fled Ghouta on Thursday, and the sudden exodus appeared to have caught the government flat-footed.

Regime forces have broken up the remaining territory into three pockets, each one held by a separate rebel group.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.

Russian Federation said more than 12,000 people left on Thursday.

People sit in a truck with their belongings in the north east of Afrin Syria
Image Some 2,500 people have fled the town of Afrin

Syrian government troops have been pressing a ferocious air and ground assault on Ghouta since February 18 that has seen them retake 70% of the former rebel bastion.

Since 2013, Eastern Ghouta's estimated 400,000 residents lived under government siege, facing severe food and medecine shortages in the enclave.

Several reports appeared late Friday claiming that Turkish shells struck a hospital in Afrin, killing several civilians.

The Syrian government has already condemned the Turkish offensive against Afrin as an act of aggression.

On Saturday, rebel artillery fire killed one person in the capital, the Observatory said.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

Hospital director Jiwan Mohammed told state news agency SANA the strikes had put the hospital - until then, the city's only functioning medical facility - out of service.

"Warplanes targeted civilians in Zamalka as they prepared to flee" the southern area of the enclave held by the Faylaq al-Rahman rebel group, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Turkey wants to crush the YPG which it views as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency in Turkey.

More news: Major Free Update Coming in March

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