Turkish army video shows Afrin hospital building safe, dismissing ‘false’ reports of bombing
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The Turkish military on March 17 released footage of an undamaged Afrin hospital building, dismissing reports that the army had bombed a hospital in Syria’s northwestern city of Afrin.
The one-minute video, which was shot at 9.43 a.m. local time, shows the hospital building is in good shape.
Recently, the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants claimed the Turkish army hit the hospital. A statement by the Turkish Armed Forces followed the release of the video.
“Reports of a hospital bombing in Afrin by the Turkish Armed Forces are false,” the military said in a statement posted on its Twitter account.
“Operation Olive Branch” “has been conducted without harming any civilians, innocent people and the environment,” the military added.
The military has also said only “terrorist targets” are being destroyed and “utmost care” is being taken to avoid harming civilians.
Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” on Jan. 20 to clear Afrin of YPG militants, a group Ankara considers a terror organization for its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Turkish troops reunite in Afrin's north
Turkish troops that had begun Operation Olive Branch in Syria on opposite sides of Afrin's north have been reunited, the Turkish General Staff said on March 17.
In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said the two groups were heading west to east and vice versa before converging in the northern part of Syria's Afrin.
3,567 militants 'neutralized' in Afrin operation
A total of 3,567 militants have been "neutralized" since the start of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on March 17 morning.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.