At least 13 civilians, including four hospital staff, were killed and 27 others, including 11 hospital staff, were injured in alleged airstrikes and/or artillery shelling of Al-Shifaa Hospital in Afrin on June 12, 2021.
The Syrian American Medical Society issues a statement that “SAMS-supported Al-Shifaa Hospital in Afrin, Syria was directly targeted by two missiles. Initial reports from the ground indicate that thirteen people have been killed. Tragically, of this number, two were hospital staff and two were ambulance drivers. Eleven staff were injured, including one midwife in critical condition”. Additional details are that “the first missile hit the emergency room, and the second missile hit the labor and delivery room. Both units have been completely destroyed, in addition to the outpatient department that was partially destroyed. The hospital has been taken out of service, evacuating patients to nearby facilities.”
A tweet from @rahhalahmad06 gave information on one of the victims: “the death of the anesthesiologist, Amin Qusho, as a result of the heinous crime that affected Al-Shifa Hospital in Afrin.”
@hsasmar also identified Mahmoud Al-Dabbas Abu Khaled as someone who was “trying to provide aid to the wounded who fell as a result of the bombing on the city of #Afrin.”
@BilloMohemed gave the context that Zalloukh Hanan Muhammad, 85 years old was killed “when a missile fell on her house in the vicinity of Marati roundabout in the center of Afrin city”.
The victims “Zeinab Sheikh Daoud“, 21 years old, and her two-year-old son, “Yusuf Qilij”, from the village of Ma’arat were both killed as well, according to @SheroAlo1. Afrin Rights Watch reported that the husband and father of the deceased was being held in Marati Prison / Marata, under the control of the Turkish, and was denied a request to be released to attend their funeral.
According to @Zoher__kh, a friend of one of the victims, Majed Kbeish was a member of the Shafak Organization. @rame0alsayed also identified Anwar Al-Daher as an employee of the Shafak Organization and pointed out that he was helping one of the wounded when he was killed.
Maaret alnuman posted on Facebook that Rana Fawzi Al-Manfoukh, the wife of Mahmoud Khashan, was also killed in the bombing of Al Shifaa Hospital.
A Facebook post by Mustafa Sheikho identified the death of Malak Othman Khalil from the village of Konde Khalil and the injury of her daughter, Mazkin Hassan Muhammad, from Alkana.
An image posted by @Marea_Elshame shows a child in a wheelchair who was paralyzed prior to the incident and was killed in the strikes.
@SyrianCoalition published a full list of the names of those killed: Zaloukh Hanan Muhammad Afrin, 85 years old (F); Zainab Sheikh Daoud Afrin, 21 years old (F); Yusuf Kilij Khushan Afrin, 2 years old (M); Amin Qushou, 55 years old (M); Muhammad Osama Mamdouh Homs, 33 years old (M); Dana Al-Manfoukh (F); Ghaith Abbas, 23 years old (M); Samira Al-Sufi, Damascus, 41 years old (F); Mahmoud Dias Homs, 35 years old (M); Fadel Haj Ibrahim (M); Laith Al-Hamwi (M); Lian Mustafa Al-Amiri (F); Lana Mustafa Al-Amiri (F); Anwar Ahmed Daher (M); Majed Kbeish (M)
Syrian Civil Defense published the names Ismail Al-Naasan, Zaher Hamsho, and Ahmed Ibrahim, three volunteers of the White Helmets were injured while performing their humanitarian duty.
Afrin Post included additional names of civilians injured from Afrin: Fatima Sager Ahmed, 56 years old (F); Mazkin Muhammad Hassan, 39 years old (F) //daughter of Malak Othamn Khalil; Ali Ali Mahmoud, 21 years old (M); Awfa Al-Nasir Muhammad, 50 years old (?); Nidal Hajj Ibrahim, 55 years old (M); Laith Al-Amiri Mustafa, 4 years old (M); Layan Al-Amiri Mustafa, a year and a half old (M); Nisreen Al-Aroor Abdul Karim 2 years old (F); Aisha Kılıch Colin, 56 years old (M)
Afrin Post also named civilians injured from outside of Afrin: Mohieddin Al-Zein, age 55 (M); Ismail Nassan 39 (M); Muhammad Saleh. 23 (M); Zahid Hamsho 36 (?); Douaa Kamel Saad Eddin 60 (F); Abdullah Al-Abed 33 (M); Iman, Ghadab Zakaria (5 years) (F); Jalal Al-Qassab Omar (30 years old) (M); Iman al-Akhras Muhammad (22 years old) (F); Muhammad Qadriya (27 .) (M); Muhammad Hamidi Attia (36 years old) (M); Qusay Muhammad Khalil (31 years old). (M); Muhammad Zaher Al-Sakka (41 years old) (M); Bilal Ramadan (29 years old). (M); Hossam Noureddine Farouk (37 years old) (M); Tariq Najm Muhammad Faisal (31 years old) (M)
Qasioun News reported that “the authorities of the Turkish state of Hatay announced killing 13 civilians and injury 27 others as a result of the attack carried out by SDF.”
A tweet from @ahmadal_shame put the number of civilians killed in the strikes “at more than 18” and @SyrianCoalition tweeted that the number of people killed had risen to 19. A higher count was given by Step News, putting that the strikes “killed 23 people and injured more than 40 civilians and medical staff” and Al Modon reported that more than 50 civilians were injured. However, other sources gave lower estimates, with @SEMA_Org tweeting that “at least 6 civilian casualties were killed, and 15 were injured,” but this seems to be an early estimate.
Orient News provided information on the victims: “killing of at least seven people in the initial toll, including three women from the medical staff (a midwife and two nurses), a civil defense volunteer and two civilians, in addition to the injury of dozens, including three civil defense volunteers and a number of medical staff and civilians, especially women”. Enab Baladi gave information that of the seven killed, that included “four medical personnel and three members of the “Syrian Civil Defense” team” and Syrian Network for Human Rights identified one child and five women among those killed.
In addition, Orient identified Iran as responsible for the bombardment on the hospital and added that the bombing “originated from the Iranian “sectarian” militia points in the areas of Aleppo countryside”.
A tweet from @NagiNajjar blamed the strikes on the regime and Iran.
Various sources, including @itsnotsuhad and Syrian Civil Defense, attributed the strikes to the Syrian Democratic Forces and/or the PKK. Syrian Arab News Agency, the regime controlled news agency, reported that the civilian casualties resulted from “mutual shelling between the Turkish occupation forces and their terrorist mercenaries on the one hand, and the US occupation backed-QSD militants on the other hand”.
However, Farhad Shami, Director of the Media Center of the Syrian Democratic Forces released a statement that “some media published incorrect news about the targeting of the city center of Afrin this evening and attributed it to our forces. We in the Syrian Democratic Forces confirm that we do not have any presence in those areas, and we call on all media outlets to adhere to credibility in publishing news related to our force”. The head of the SDF also denied that they were responsible, blaming Russia for the strikes.
Afrin Post reported that “Turkish soldiers in six military vehicles (with Turkish flags on them) had evacuated their military headquarters located in the building (formerly Ronahi Press) adjacent to Afrin Hospital (al-Shifaa now) just 4 minutes before the start of the missile shelling on the city, which indicates that they were on Aware of the missile targeting and its timing” and that Turkish forces prevented activists and media from entering the hospital following the strikes. In addition, “the missile shelling was launched from the outskirts of the towns of Nubl and al-Zahra, which are under the control of the Syrian regime army.”
A tweet from @maamo_walid provided an image of the “Krasnopol missiles that the Syrian regime bombed the city of Afrin are Russian laser-guided missiles that are precision-guided by reconnaissance”. Using the same image, @AKMcKeever referred to it as ” a 122mm BM-21 rocket (spring-loaded fins) taken ~175m from the site of the Afrin hospital”.
The US State Department issued a statement condemning the attack and pointed out that “this hospital’s coordinates have been shared with the UN deconfliction mechanism for Syria” but did not identify who was responsible. The World Health Organization also issued a condemnation of the attack and did not attribute responsibility.
The incident occured at approximately 7:15 pm local time.