Turkey denies use of chemical weapons in Syria's Afrin

Hannah Rogers
February 21, 2018

Turkey has denied the allegations that it used chemical weapons in its operation against the Kurdish fighters in Afrin city of Syria.

Turkey has never used chemical weapons in its operations in Syria, a Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters on February 17, after the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and a monitoring group accused it of carrying out a gas attack in the Afrin district.

A doctor at Afrin's main hospital tells The Associated Press that the facility was treating six people who had been poisoned who arrived Friday night from the village of Arandi after it was attacked by Turkish troops.

Turkey on January 19 began an air-and-land military campaign in the Kurdish-controlled Afrin enclave in northern Syria, saying it was targeting Kurdish terrorists.

According to the Director of the hospital, the ambulance took six people with symptoms of poisoning with chemical weapons. The Britain-based war monitoring group said medical sources in Afrin reported that six people in the attack suffered breathing difficulties and dilated pupils, indicating a suspected gas attack.

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Both SANA and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted local doctors in their reports.

Combat has continued in the region despite calls this month by the United Nations for a humanitarian cease-fire.

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army said it captured a female YPG terrorist after capturing Shedya village of Recu town.

The U.S. has provided support to YPG as they fought to rid Syria of ISIS, but has indicated that it is against a Kurdish movement for autonomy. Turkey sees the YPG as terrorists and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil.

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