Artillery Fire Hits Hospital in Syria’s Afrin, Killing 18

Turkish media labels incident a Kurdish terrorist attack

On Saturday, artillery fire tore through a hospital in the north Syrian rebel-held city of Afrin. The attack killed at least 18 people, including a rebel commander, and wounded 23 others. Reports are that several parts of town, including the hospital, were hit in the shelling.

There were calls for an independent investigation into the attack, and no claims of responsibility. Afrin is held by Turkish-backed rebels, however, and it didn’t take long for Turkish media to opine on the matter.

Turkish public broadcaster TRT World labeled the incident “a YPG/PKK terrorist attack.” Afrin was a district contested between Turkey and the Kurds early in the war, and it is unsurprising that Turkey would blame them in this case.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an organization tied deeply to the YPG, denied involvement in the attack. Rebels noted that the area had been under attack before, and similarly blamed the YPG for it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of