Five civilians, including two children and a woman, were killed and up to 17 were injured in alleged YPG artillery strikes on a market in Afrin, north of Aleppo, on March 18th, 2020, according to local sources.
Ibrahim Abu Al-Laith from the media office of the Syrian Civil Defence told Bawaba Aleppo that “five shells landed in a local market in the centre of Afrin, killing five civilians and wounding seven others, in varying conditions, which were transferred to Turkish hospitals.” SCD later published the names of the killed victims on Facebook, including the names of two children, and the names of those wounded.
Step News Agency reported that the Qasd militia targeted Villat Street with grad missiles, killing five civilians and wounding 17. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 12 injured, including women and children, and material damage in the targeted areas. The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that the shelling partially destroyed shops and damaged the market’s facilities.
According to TRT Arabi, the Turkish Ministry of Defense stated that three civilians were killed and nine others were injured due to missile shelling with five Grad rockets, blaming the YPG for the attack. However, the Syrian Civil Defence published the names of five killed civilians.
Among the victims were Mohamed Al Sayed (25) and his nephew Abdullah Al Sayed (10). The child Khaled Al Dabaan was also killed. Abdulkarim Al Halabi wrote on Facebook that the 12-year-old boy “dreamed that he would become a [football] player and he always came to practice first, in addition to that he was working in a small shop and he would help his parents.”
Al Modon’s correspondent Muhammad Ayoub reported that “two shells landed near the Dersem Hospital in Al Failat Street, and two shells near the Al Shifa’ Hospital near Mazout Street, and a shell on Mazout Street. It resulted in great material damage in the shops near the site.” Several sources reported that the incident occured in the afternoon.
Step added that “the Syrian Civil Defense teams rushed to the area to help the wounded and the injured and transport them to the field hospitals, while the opposition forces closed the street in the city centre until the injured were transported.”
Bawaba Aleppo blamed the Syrian Democratic Forces for the attack, others more specifically the Al Qasd militia. Edlib Media Center reported that Turkish forces “retaliated with firing several shells at the locations of the Qasd militia in Shwaragha and Meng in the northern countryside of Aleppo.”
The incident occured in the afternoon.