Rocket targeting Azaz district leaves five civilians dead, including a child, and eight others wounded, reports and witnesses say.

"We rushed to the scene of the attack and saw dead bodies and bodies without arms or legs," says a witness. (AA)

At least five civilians, including a child, have been killed in northwestern Syria in a rocket strike by the YPG/PKK terrorist group, according to reports and witnesses. 

At least eight others were wounded in Tuesday's attack in the Azaz district. 

YPG/PKK terrorists fired the projectile from the Tal Rifaat area which has been under their occupation for more than six years.

The wounded were transferred to nearby hospitals.

The terror group mostly carries out attacks from Manbij, Ayn Al Arab, and the Tal Rifat district of Aleppo province, using the areas as bases for its attacks.

Separately, three rockets fired by YPG/PKK targeted an empty area in southeastern Türkiye near the Kilis Oncupinar border crossing.

No casualties were reported.

"The situation is extremely bad. Multiple shells have fallen on us. At least four people have been killed and others injured. The shelling is ongoing. We're helpless," said Hasan Berekat, a resident of Azaz. 

Ali Yunus, another resident, said: These attacks are hitting civilians. This is a restaurant run by Syrians who were displaced from Idlib's Saraqeb. Four displaced people lost their lives. All of them were civilians."

"While we were standing in the neighbourhood, an explosion ripped through this restaurant. We rushed to the scene of the attack and saw dead bodies and bodies without arms or legs. Civil defence volunteers took them to the hospital," another resident added. 

READ MORE: Türkiye has right to defend itself against terror threats: White House

READ MORE: Türkiye neutralises 184 PKK/YPG terrorists: Defence Ministry

Operation Claw-Sword

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US, and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. 

The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

On Sunday, Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Sword, a cross-border aerial campaign against the terror group, which has hideouts across the Iraqi and Syrian borders where they plan attacks on Turkish soil.

The operation came after the terrorists struck Istanbul's crowded Istiklal Avenue, killing six people and wounding 81 others.

On Sunday, Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Sword, a cross-border aerial campaign against the terror group, which has hideouts across the Iraqi and Syrian borders where they plan attacks on Turkish soil.
On Sunday, Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Sword, a cross-border aerial campaign against the terror group, which has hideouts across the Iraqi and Syrian borders where they plan attacks on Turkish soil. (TRTWorld)

Safe zone

Türkiye had made separate agreements with the US and Russia for the withdrawal of YPG/PKK elements — 30 kilometres south of the Turkish border — when the Turkish Armed Forces launched its Operation Peace Spring on October 9, 2019, in northern Syria.

The operation was launched to create a "safe zone" for the voluntary return of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. 

Eight days into Operation Peace Spring, then-US vice president Mike Pence visited Türkiye and pledged the terror group would pull back 32 kilometres from the Turkish border.

Russia also committed to the removal of the terror group from the Tal Rifat and Manbij areas under the deal. 

But both countries failed to keep their pledges, forcing Türkiye to adopt measures to boost security and combat YPG/PKK threats on its own. 

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

READ MORE: Erdogan vows to root out terrorism posing threat to Türkiye's security

Source: AA