ISTANBUL/BEIRUT – A projectile fired from the Kurdish Afrin enclave in northwest Syria killed a 17-year-old girl and wounded two other civilians in their home in the Turkish town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border, a Turkish news agency reported on Wednesday.
According to the semi-official Anadolu News Agency, rocket attacks have been hitting Turkish towns near the Syrian border since Turkey launched its combined ground invasion of the Afrin enclave with the support of Syrian militias.
On Wednesday, Turkey reportedly managed to gain new territory in the Kurdish-controlled region, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group.
Turkish forces and their militant allies took control of Shinkal village in northwestern Afrin after repeated attempts to take the village since “Operation Olive Branch” began Jan. 20, and had seized at least 12 villages and a number of hilltops in the Afrin region, the SOHR reported.
Turkey’s stated aim for its ground invasion was to create a buffer zone inside Syria to push back Kurdish militias that rule Afrin, as Turkey regards these groups as a terror organization.
The United States had backed the YPG militias in the fight against the Islamic State terror organization in Syria, and the Turkish offensive has increased tensions between the two countries.
At least 67 Syrian civilians, including 20 children and 12 women, have been killed since the beginning of the operation.
Afrin is located in far northwestern Syria, and in 2016 the enclave was isolated from Kurdish territories further east following Turkey’s limited military invasion of the Aleppo region in northern Syria.