The Turkish armed forces shelled a convoy entering Syria’s Kurdish-controlled Afrin region late on Thursday. The targeted convoy of 30-40 vehicles was transporting “terrorists, weapons and ammunition,” according to a Turkish military statement published alongside aerial footage of the strike on Friday. Syrian Kurdish YPG militia responded to the statement by claiming the vehicles were transporting civilians, food and medical supplies, Reuters reports, citing YPG spokesman Birusk Hasaka. The strike killed one person and left at least 10 injured, according to Hasaka.The Turkish military said a fleet of some 30-40 vehicles of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia had approached the main town of the northwest Afrin region.
Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party accused the government of “spreading misinformation” on Thursday about causing no civilian deaths in its offensive in Syria, calling on Ankara to halt the military operation. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said earlier in the day that no civilian had been killed in Turkey’s air and ground campaign in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria. Pervin Buldan, the newly elected co-head of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), told reporters in Istanbul that many civilians had died in Afrin, including women and children, AFP reports. Buldan added that Turkey will “gain nothing” from the offensive. Ankara says it is fighting the YPG, describing it as a “terrorist” offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “The world knows that the YPG is part of the SDF which fought” Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), said Sezai Temelli, HDP’s other co-leader. “We believe the SDF should be part of a peace resolution in Syria.”