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Syria, artillery attack strikes hospital and residences

 The Syrian flag waves high above a crowd of people The Syrian flag waves high above a crowd of people Photo by Ahmed Akacha on Pexels

15 June 2021

Several citizens have been injured or killed as a result of artillery attacks by Syrian Kurdish groups

Two separate deadly artillery attacks struck the northern Syrian town of Afrin on the 13 June. One of the attacks struck a residential area while the other hit Al Shifaa hospital. As one of the largest hospitals in northern Syria providing civilians with a great number of health services, its destruction poses a problem to those seeking medical attention in a country already dealing with the consequences of a long-standing civil war. While the final toll remains uncertain, Turkey’s Defence Ministry confirmed that at least 13 people, including two medical staff, were killed; the Defence Ministry also reports 27 were injured while the Washington Post reports as many 43 injured. 

While it is not certain who perpetrated the attack, several reports point to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group linked to the Kurdish separatist group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is recognized as a terrorist group by the United States and European Union. Turkey itself regards the YPG as a terrorist group and has helped Syrian rebels fight against the group throughout the civil war. 

Action Against Armed Violence’s Explosive Violence Monitoring Project reports that between 2011 and 2020, Syria has had 77,534 civilian deaths and injuries due to explosive violence. Consequently, Syria has persistently caught the attention of the international community for the atrocities committed throughout its civil war. As a result of this most recent attack, the Syrian American Medical Association (SAMS) has called for an investigation into the incident. Additionally, the coordinates of the hospital attack have been shared as a part of a United Nations-led effort to eliminate conflict throughout the region.

 

Sources:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/13/syria-13-killed-in-hospital-attack-in-rebel-held-afrin 

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/syrian-hospital-hit-artillery-attacks-afrin-least-seven-killed-2021-06-12/ 

https://aoav.org.uk/2021/a-decade-of-explosive-violence-harm-2011-2020/ 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/major-wreckage-at-hospital-hit-by-artillery-in-north-syria/2021/06/13/2a6e87c6-cc69-11eb-a224-bd59bd22197c_story.html 

 

Author: Emily Herstine; Editor: Andrew Goodell

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