The main city of Afrin is being bombarded by heavy artillery fire and airstrikes carried out by the Turkish Military. An official with the Rojava government, Hediye Yusuf, stated, “Turkey is bombing the center of Afrin and there are dead and wounded among the civilians.” While the count of injured and dead so far is not known, many people are being rushed to hospitals for emergency care. The hospitals in the region have become overwhelmed and were already being pushed to their limits from the past two months of Turkey’s attacks on the region. Not only are they running low on medical supplies but staff have been stretched thin, some of them are among the wounded.
The Syrian Democratic Forces stated that the Turkish military, under the guise of Operation Olive Branch, has sustained “indiscriminate bombardment” and “continuous, non-stop shelling” of the city. While many civilians have fled the area, thousands have become trapped within the city. To make matters worse, there is currently a massive food shortage and people are struggling to acquire the basic necessities.
Turkish authorities have denied the targeting of the civilian populace despite laying siege to the city last week and added reports throughout the outlying villages of war crimes perpetuated by Islamic militias. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly stated, “All care is being taken. Right now the first civilians are being taken out of Afrin in vehicles through a special corridor,” on Wednesday. The United Nations estimates that Afrin contains a population size of nearly 323,000 citizens. Today Erdogan stated, “I hope that Afrin will fall totally this evening.” A source on the ground has said that today 17 people were killed and 25 were wounded.
Featured image courtesy of the Associated Press. Video courtesy of Jano Shakir.