In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry “strongly” condemned the attack and its perpetrators, including one of the YPG/PKK’s other aliases, the so-called SDF.

Several civilians lost their lives in the YPG/PKK attack on the hospital in Afrin, Syria.
Several civilians lost their lives in the YPG/PKK attack on the hospital in Afrin, Syria. (AA)

Turkey has condemned an attack by the terror group YPG/PKK on a hospital in Afrin, northern Syria.

The terrorist attack on a hospital in northwestern Syria killed at least 19 civilians - including patients and medical staff and injured more than 27, according to officials.

In a statement on Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry “strongly” condemned the attack and its perpetrators, including one of the YPG/PKK’s other aliases, the so-called SDF.

"The PKK/YPG/SDF, which does not hesitate to target innocent civilians and healthcare workers who work tirelessly to serve the Syrian people under all conditions, with artillery and missiles, has once again demonstrated its terrorist organisation identity and bloody face," the statement said.

"In this respect, we invite the international community to see the truth and to end their support for this terrorist organisation operating under different names," it said.

Turkey has often accused Western countries of turning a blind eye to the vicious attacks of the YPG/PKK, and blasted some countries such as the US for supporting the terror group.

"We reiterate that we will resolutely continue our fight against all terrorist organisations that pose a threat to our national security and Syrian civilians, always and everywhere,” it added.

The statement also wished God's mercy on those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the wounded.

READ MORE: YPG/PKK attack on hospital in Syria's Afrin kills many patients

'Malicious attack’

Communications Director Fahrettin Altun condemned the attack on innocent civilians as well as the supporters of the YPG/PKK terror group.

On Twitter, Altun wished God's mercy on those who lost their lives in the “malicious attack” and a speedy recovery to the wounded.

“We know this terrorist organisation with such a dark spirit that attacked a hospital in Afrin and killed innocents waiting for healing. I condemn the vile attack of the Syrian branch of the anti-human terrorist organisation and wishes God's mercy on those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured,” Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also “strongly” condemned the attack.

“The Syrian branch (YPG) of the terrorist group (PKK) showed its brutal face once again. Staying silent in the face of this attack means being complicit to this crime,” Kalin said on Twitter.

READ MORE: How does the PKK-YPG raise funds in Syria?

YPG/PKK ‘anti-humanist terror group’

Omer Celik, a spokesman for Turkey's Justice and Development (AK) Party, also denounced the attack.

“The YPG/PKK targeted the al Shifa Hospital in Afrin and caused the death and injury of many of our civilian Syrian brothers, once again showing that it is an anti-human terrorist organisation,” Celik said on Twitter.

“We condemn this cowardly attack which targeted innocent civilians and a hospital. Turkey’s fight against the PKK and its extensions will continue. A total struggle must be waged against all forms of terrorism, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said,” he added.

Celik also criticised some countries for claiming that they support YPG/PKK terrorists to fight Daesh terrorism in the country – an excuse cited by the US.

He called on these countries to end their support for the terror group.

Turkey's National Defence Ministry also denounced the attack.

“The targets of the PKK/YPG terrorist organisation, which carried out the attack, came under immediate fire. This cowardly attack, which directly targeted innocent civilians, was reported to the Russian Federation,” said a ministry statement.

Governorship investigates the attack

In a statement, the Governor’s Office in Hatay, just across the border, said that grad missile and artillery shells fired by the terrorist group YPG/PKK from the Assad regime-controlled Tal Rifat region hit the emergency department of the private Shifa Hospital in the centre of the Afrin district.

The governorship is investigating the attack in coordination with local authorities, the statement added.

Afrin was largely cleared of YPG/PKK terrorists in 2018 through Turkey’s anti-terror offensive Operation Olive Branch, but the terror group still targets the region to disturb the peace establish by Turkish forces.

The terror group often targets Jarabulus, Azaz, Afrin and al Bab by attacking from adjacent Tal Rifaat and Manbij regions.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terror organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.

The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

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

READ MORE: Exclusive: PKK/YPG conscripting minors as it struggles with recruitment

Source: AA