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Rockets hit Turkish border town, wound over a dozen

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo posted by Turkish media shows the aftermath of a rocket attack that hit the Turkish border town of Kilis on January 24, 2018.

More than a dozen people have been wounded when two rockets fired from Syria’s Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin struck a Turkish border town, the local governor says.

Governor Mehmet Tekinarslan said that the rockets hit two locations, including a mosque during prayer times, in the city center of Kilis on Wednesday.

At least eight people were wounded at the mosque and another five injured at the second location, he added. Two of the injured people were in critical condition.

Turkish media footage showed security forces clearing the areas of civilians following the attacks.

Several rockets have hit the Turkish border towns of Kilis and Reyhanli in recent days as Ankara presses ahead with its operation against US-backed Kurdish militants in the war-torn Arab country.

On Saturday, rockets fired across the border hit Reyhanli, killing a Syrian national and wounding 46 people. Another five were wounded when rockets hit Kilis.

Turkey launched the so-called Operation Olive Branch in Afrin five days ago in a bid to eliminate the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

 The YPG forms the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed anti-Damascus militant group.

The Turkish military said in a statement on Tuesday that at least 260 members of the YPG and the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group had been killed in the Afrin operation. The SDF has also claimed to kill dozens of Turkish forces and allied Free Syrian Army members.

Operation Olive Branch in the Afrin region is Turkey's second major military intervention in Syria during an unprecedented foreign-backed militancy that broke out in 2011.

In August 2016, Turkey began a unilateral military intervention in northern Syria, code-named Operation Euphrates Shield, sending tanks and warplanes across the border. Ankara claimed that its military campaign was aimed at pushing Daesh from Turkey's border with Syria and stopping the advance of Kurdish forces, who were themselves fighting Daesh.  

Turkey ended its campaign in northern Syria in March 2017, but at the time did not rule out the possibility of yet another act of military offensive inside the Arab country.


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