Turkish Shelling Kills Dozens of Civilians in Syria’s Afrin

Turkish Military, Kurds Both Claim to Have Killed More

Heavy fighting in Syria’s Afrin District since Turkey’s weekend invasion has left scores dead, with the exact number of combatants killed on both sides heavily contested. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, has put the civilian death toll at 30 or more.

Unsurprisingly, the Observatory’s reckoning of the deaths was that Turkish forces killed 28, while the Kurdish YPG and its allies killed two civilians. This is to be expected since Turkey is invading populated areas, and the Kurds are mostly shelling advancing troops and border posts.

Neither side has focused much on civilian deaths, however, rather both have hyped the number of enemy fighters they’ve killed. The Observatory estimated 48 killed among Turkey and its allied rebel fighters, mostly Free Syrian Army (FSA), and 42 among the Kurdish fighters.

Both sides are hotly contesting that, however, with Turkey claiming to have only lost 2 soldiers, and to have killed over 250 Kurds. The Kurdish YPG, however, is adamant they’ve killed more fighters than they’ve lost, a fact which, as thousands more pour in from both sides, may be of increasingly little solace.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.