World, Europe

UK, France condemn deadly attack on hospital in Afrin, Syria

Medical facilities, aid workers, innocent civilians are not targets, says British minister of state

Burak Bir and Alaattin Dogru   | 14.06.2021
UK, France condemn deadly attack on hospital in Afrin, Syria An interior view of the damaged hospital after grad missile and artillery shells fired by PKK, (listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU), and YPG militia, (which Turkey regards as a terror group), on the private Shifa Hospital, in northwestern Syria, killed at least 13 civilian patients and injured more than 27, in Syria's Afrin on June 13, 2021. ( Zeyn Ali - Anadolu Agency )

PARIS / ANKARA

The UK and France have condemned Saturday's deadly attack on a hospital in Afrin, northwestern Syria.

"We condemn the shocking attack on Al Shifa Hospital in #Afrin, Syria. The violence needs to stop - all parties must abide by existing ceasefire agreements," James Cleverly, the British government’s Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa, said Sunday on Twitter.

Medical facilities, aid workers and innocent civilians are not targets, he added.

France's Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack.

The statements did not refer to the perpetrators, but according to Turkish officials, the attack was carried out by the terror group YPG/PKK.

On Monday, the EU also condemned the attack. "The European Union condemns the attack on Saturday 12 June, on the al Shifaa Hospital in Afrin in northwestern Syria, killing many civilians, including patients and medical staff," Peter Stano, spokesman of the bloc’s diplomatic service, wrote in a statement on behalf of the EU.

The attack on the hospital in opposition-held northwestern Syria killed at least 14 patients and injured more than 32, said officials in Turkey.

In a statement, the governor’s office in Hatay, just across Syria’s border with Turkey, said that grad missile and artillery shells fired by the YPG/PKK from the Assad regime-controlled Tal Rifat region hit the emergency department of the private hospital in the center of the Afrin district.

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

The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

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