Six civilians including an infant killed in YPG rocket attacks on Turkish border towns
Rockets and mortars fired from YPG/PKK-occupied regions in Syria hit Akçakale, Birecik and Ceylanpınar towns of Şanlıurfa as well as Nusaybin town of Mardin in southeastern Turkey. Six civilians, including a nine-month-old baby, were killed and dozens got injured in shelling on Turkish border towns on Thursday, local authorities said.
At least six civilians including an infant were killed, and dozens of others got injured after rockets and mortar shells fired by YPG/PKK terrorists in Syria hit Turkish border towns.
A nine-month-old baby boy lost his life after terrorist group PKK/YPG fired mortar shells and rockets from Syria into Turkey's southeastern Şanlıurfa province on Thursday.
"The first martyrs of Operation Peace Spring were a nine-month-old Syrian baby, Mohammad Omar, and Cihan Güneş, a civil servant working for the tax office in Akçakale," the Şanlıurfa governor's office said in a statement.
''The terrorist organization PKK/PYD-YPG committed yet another heinous crime against humanity today. They killed two civilians, including a baby, in a mortar attack against Akçakale, a Turkish town at the Syrian border,'' Turkey's National Defense Ministry also said on Twitter.
"The Turkish Armed Forces neutralized the PKK/PYD-YPG terrorists who killed innocent civilians today, and destroyed their positions," the ministry added.
Four more deaths were later reported in Mardin province, according to a local official.
AFP journalists witnessed consistent explosions in Akçakale and saw three people injured, one seriously, when shells hit a government building.
Rocket and mortars fired from YPG/PKK-occupied regions in Syria hit Akçakale, Birecik and Ceylanpınar towns of Şanlıurfa as well as Nusaybin town of Mardin in southeastern Turkey.
The two areas lie just across the border from the Syrian towns of Tal Abyad and Ras Al-Ain, which have been the focus of Turkey's operation against the YPG and Daesh terrorists since it was launched on Wednesday.
A total of 70 people were so far reported injured across Turkish areas.
Families were evacuating and streets emptying in Akçakale, as local authorities called on people to take shelter.
Schools in the region were suspended due to the operation in border towns, as municipality workers advised locals to stay away from border lines.
Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, to secure its borders and Syria's territorial integrity, by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees.
Turkey has said the terrorist group PKK and its extension the YPG/PYD constitute the biggest threat to Syria's future, jeopardizing the country's territorial integrity and unitary structure.
Ankara has also stressed that supporting terrorists, under the pretext of fighting Daesh is unacceptable.
Turkey has a 911-kilometer (566-miles) border with Syria and it has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates River and the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.
Turkey plans to resettle two million Syrians in a 30-km-wide (19-miles) proposed safe zone in Syria, stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, including Manbij. However, the presence of terror groups such as the PKK, PYD, and YPG risk its formation.
Turkey has freed an area of 4,000 square km (1,544 square miles) in Syria from terrorist groups in two separate cross-border operations.
Since 2016, Turkey has conducted two major military operations in northwestern Syria -- Operation Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch -- to eradicate threats from the Daesh and the YPG, which is the Syrian branch of the terrorist group PKK.
The two operations were in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law, UN Security Council resolutions, especially no. 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014), and under the right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, while being respectful of Syria's territorial integrity. During Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkish forces neutralized 3,060 Daesh terrorists.
Turkey has suffered greatly from Daesh attacks inside the country.
More than 300 people have been killed in attacks claimed by Daesh in Turkey, where the terrorist group has targeted civilians in suicide bombings and armed attacks in recent years.
In its more than 30-year terror of campaign against Turkey, the PKK-listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.