At least 18 people were killed, including doctors, after shells hit al Shiifa hospital in Afrin, northern Syria on Sunday, leaving the maternity ward and emergency room in ruins. Jowharmessages from the city controlled by Turkish-backed opposition fighters, where local authorities blame Kurdish rebels.
The windows have been shattered, much of the ceiling has collapsed and there is still blood on the floor of the al Shiifa hospital in Afrin. The hospital was overcrowded when two shells hit the building two days ago.
“There was an attack on the city near the hospital and injured people were brought here,” explains hospital director Hussam Adnan. “An hour later a missile hit it. It destroyed both the maternity ward and the emergency room here.”
It is not clear who was behind the attack, which also injured dozens of people and came from areas where both Syrian government forces and Kurdish-led fighters have been deployed.
Although the Syrian American Medical Society, which operates at the hospital, has called for an investigation into the deadly attack, local authorities do not seem to see much need and are pointing the finger at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s worst enemies: Kurdish rebels. While attending the NATO summit in Brussels on Monday, the Turkish leader suggested that the attack on Afrin was an attack on the alliance’s southern border.
Syrian democratic forces, meanwhile, reject the charges against the Kurdish militias, and regional observers believe the attack was staged by groups fighting on behalf of Iran or the Syrian regime.
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