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Turkish strike on a Kurdish hospital in Afrin: 16 civilians on the mat

(B2) Sixteen civilians, including two pregnant women, were killed on Friday (March 16) in a Turkish airstrike that hit the main hospital in the Kurdish town of Afrin in northwestern Syria, the agency said. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH). The Red Crescent, whose employees work in the establishment, confirmed the strike to AFP, without providing a report. No hospital staff were among the victims, he added.

Information confirmed by Serwan Bery, senior official of the Kurdish Red Crescent, who specifies that it was the “ only operational hospital in Afrin city ". In recent days, the noose has tightened on Afrin, from which civilians are fleeing by the thousands. The specter of a siege or an assault on this city of some 350.000 inhabitants raises fears of a new humanitarian tragedy in Syria. At least 15.000 people fled Afrin on Friday, according to the Observatory.

Since January 20, the Turkish army and its Syrian proxies have been carrying out a military offensive against Afrin, a region controlled by the People's Protection Units (YPG). This Kurdish militia is considered terrorist by Turkey but allied with the United States in the fight against the Islamic State organization (ISIL/ISIL).

Eastern Ghouta subject to Syrian regime strikes

In Eastern Ghouta, the situation is no better. The Syrian regime, aided militarily by its Russian ally, is relentlessly continuing its offensive that began on February 18, despite international condemnations and calls for a ceasefire. On Friday, 80 residents of eastern Ghouta were killed, mainly in raids on Saqba and Kfar Batna, according to the OSDH, which attributed the strikes to Russian aircraft.

The army claimed to have recaptured 70% of what constituted the final rebel bastion at the gates of Damascus, now divided into three sectors, and urged the inhabitants of these rebel sectors to flee via " secure corridors ". At least 1.350 civilians, including 270 children, were killed and thousands injured in nearly a month of bombings, according to the OSDH.

(with AFP)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).