Turkey condemns YPG/PKK terror attack on hospital in Afrin
In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry “strongly” condemned the attack and its perpetrators, including one of the YPG/PKK’s other aliases, the so-called SDF.
"The PKK/YPG/SDF, which does not hesitate to target innocent civilians and healthcare workers who work tirelessly to serve the Syrian people under all conditions, with artillery and missiles, has once again demonstrated its terrorist organization identity and bloody face," the statement said.
"In this respect, we invite the international community to see the truth and to end their support for this terrorist organization operating under different names," it said.
Turkey has often accused Western countries of turning a blind eye to the vicious attacks of the YPG/PKK, and blasted some countries such as the U.S. for supporting the terror group.
"We reiterate that we will resolutely continue our fight against all terrorist organizations that pose a threat to our national security and Syrian civilians, always and everywhere,” it added.
Communications Director Fahrettin Altun condemned the attack on innocent civilians as well as the supporters of the YPG/PKK terror group.
On Twitter, Altun wished God's mercy on those who lost their lives in the “malicious attack” and a speedy recovery to the wounded.
“We know this terrorist organization with such a dark spirit that attacked a hospital in Afrin and killed innocents waiting for healing. I condemn the vile attack of the Syrian branch of the anti-human terrorist organization and wishes God's mercy on those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured,” Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter.
Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalin also “strongly” condemned the attack.
“The Syrian branch (YPG) of the terrorist group (PKK) showed its brutal face once again. Staying silent in the face of this attack means being complicit to this crime,” Kalin said on Twitter.
YPG/PKK ‘anti-humanist terror group’
Ömer Çelik, a spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) also denounced the attack.
“The YPG/PKK targeted the al-Shifa Hospital in Afrin and caused the death and injury of many of our civilian Syrian brothers, once again showing that it is an anti-human terrorist organization,” Çelik said on Twitter.
“We condemn this cowardly attack which targeted innocent civilians and a hospital. Turkey’s fight against the PKK and its extensions will continue. A total struggle must be waged against all forms of terrorism, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said,” he added.
Çelik also criticized some countries for claiming that they support YPG/PKK terrorists to fight Daesh/ISIS terrorism in the country – an excuse cited by the U.S..
He called on these countries to end their support for the terror group.
The Defense Ministry also denounced the attack.
“The targets of the PKK/YPG terrorist organization, which carried out the attack, came under immediate fire. This cowardly attack, which directly targeted innocent civilians, was reported to the Russian Federation,” said a ministry statement.
The YPG/PKK attack on a hospital in northwestern Syria killed at least 13 civilian patients and injured more than 27, said officials in southern Turkey.
In a statement, the Governor’s Office in Hatay, just across the border, said that grad missile and artillery shells fired by the terrorist group YPG/PKK from the Assad regime-controlled Tal Rifat region hit the emergency department of the private Shifa Hospital in the center of the Afrin district.
The governorship is investigating the attack in coordination with local authorities, the statement added.
Afrin was largely cleared of YPG/PKK terrorists in 2018 through Turkey’s anti-terror offensive Operation Olive Branch, but the terror group still targets the region to disturb the peace establish by Turkish forces.
The terror group often targets Jarabulus, Azaz, Afrin and al-Bab by attacking from adjacent Tal Rifaat and Manbij regions.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terror organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and to enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).