Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Turkish air strike hits hospital in Syria's Afrin, nine dead: monitor

Turkish air strike hits hospital in Syria's Afrin, nine dead: monitor

Photos and videos released from the area showed charred bodies covered with sheets lined up near what appeared to be shops.

Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani in particular decried "reports that civilians are being prevented from leaving Afrin city by Kurdish forces".

Seven years of war.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that he "profoundly regrets that resolution 2401, concerning the cessation of hostilities throughout Syria, has not been implemented".

The region has been bombarded by Turkish troops which launched an offensive two months ago to drive Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters out of the area.

This is while U.S. officials regard the YPG as the most effective fighting force against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in northern Syria, and have substantially increased their weaponry and technology support to the group.

Moscow and Damascus accuse the rebels of having forced people to stay in harm's way to use them as human shields.

Meanwhile, over 20,000 civillians fled the battered area, reported Russian military forces.

The Observatory said on Thursday that more than 30,000 civilians had fled Afrin in 24 hours.

Civilians leave the city of Afrin, Syria, on March 14, 2018.

But she stressed that "even they have to make a treacherous path through, risking shelling and explosive hazards only to reach checkpoints manned by government-backed armed groups where they may only be permitted to cross after paying money".

"We expressed readiness to hold direct talks, but the Russians are still refusing such a move", he said.

Activist Abu Ahed, speaking to dpa from Eastern Ghouta, said people had been encouraged by a morning lull on Friday, and had therefore ventured from their shelters.

Civilians were killed in airstrikes in the Kafr Batna district in Syria on Friday amid a mass exodus from rebel-held areas.

Members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and others coordinate the evacuation of civilians at the Al-Wafideen checkpoint, near the eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus, in this still image from a live stream posted by the Russian Ministry of Defense, on March 16.

"Come surrender! A calm and peaceful future awaits you in Afrin", the leaflets read.

Afrin has been under bombardment from the air and the ground by Turkish forces and their local Syrian allies. On Thursday, men, women and children emerged from Hamouria and nearby opposition towns, carrying mats and other possessions that sometimes poked out of suitcases.

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