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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Rocket Fire from Syria’s Afrin Province Hits Turkish Border City, Killing 1

ISTANBUL – At least one person was killed and 13 were injured by two rockets fired from Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria into the Turkish border town of Kilis, one of them landing on a mosque during prayer time, a local governor told press on Wednesday.

The explosive devices were allegedly fired by Kurdish YPG militias who were currently battling a Turkish military invasion in Afrin, an enclave of northern Syria that at its closest point is less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Kilis, making the city vulnerable to the nearby conflict.

The governor of Kilis province, Mehmet Tekinarslan, told press that a first device struck the central Calik mosque dome just after 1500 GMT, while the second struck a house some 100 meters (328 feet) away.

He said one person was killed and that of the 13 people injured, two were in a critical condition, while images shared widely online purported to show a gaping hole in the mosque’s dome.

The event followed on from several similar attacks last week in which only material damage was reported.

Turkey and allied Syrian rebel groups launched a military into Afrin province on Jan. 20 in a bid to wrest control of the territory away from the Kurdish YPG militias, which are regarded by Ankara as a terror group indistinguishable from the PKK guerrillas who have fought a low-scale civil war in the country’s east for decades.

Elements of the YPG have received the military backing in other areas of northern Syria, such as in the campaign against the Islamic State terror organization in Raqqa.

The Turkish military onslaught into Afrin therefore threatened to test already damaged relations with Washington.

The international community has urged restraint on both sides.

 

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