Turkey Kills 15 Civilians in Syria, 5 Civilians in Iraq

Airstrikes pound Kurdish village in Syria's Afrin District

Turkish airstrikes and a ground offensive continue apace in Iraq, while in neighboring Syria, Turkey carried out airstrikes against a Kurdish village in Afrin District, killing at least 15 civilians, including a number of women and children.

Turkey provided no indication as to why they were attacking the village, or Afrin District in general. The area on Syria is mostly Kurdish, however, and Turkey rarely needs much of a reason to carry out operations against Kurds.

Airstrikes in Iraq’s Dohuk Province were also reported to have killed at least five civilians. These airstrikes were backing an ongoing ground offensive in northern Iraq which is aimed at the Kurdish PKK movement.

Turkey’s seizure of the Afrin District in Syria was primarily done to expel Kurdish forces from the border region, and the offensive against Iraq is likely to seek a similar end. So far, most of the casualties seem to be civilian, which is in keeping with Turkey’s domestic military operations against ethnic Kurdish territory.

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.