Smoke could be seen rising near the Turkish-Syrian border on Wednesday, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that a Turkish military operation into Syria had started. (Oct. 9)
Explosions roared across the Turkish-Syrian border, creating clouds of smoke as Turkey officially launched the so-called "Operation Peace Spring,"
CGTN's Michal Bardavid reports. Turkish artillery was fired into northern Syria on Friday as Turkey continues its offensive against Kurdish fighters that it considers to be terrorists. Kurdish fighters were seen preparing for battle in Syria on Thursday. (Oct 11) Several wounded people were helped away from an attack site in Syria, Sunday, October 19, as seen in footage from the Firat News Agency. The wounded were traveling in a convoy driving between Syrian border towns Cizire to Serekaniye.
- - - - - - - - - Informal comments to the media by Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations, on the hospital bombing in Syria.
Following a closed-door meeting of the Security Council on Syria, the representatives of Belgium, Germany and Kuwait "strongly condemn ongoing airstrikes impacting civilians in northwest Syria" and expressed "their grave concern regarding the recent attacks on hospitals and other health facilities."
The representatives of three countries, who also called for this meeting of the Council in a statement to media read by the Belgium's Permanent to the United Nations Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve underscored "the need for all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and civilian objects such as medical facilities and schools."
"They reiterate the necessity to ensure accountability for perpetrators of serious violations of international humanitarian law, "read de Buytswerve. "And finally, they reiterate their urgent call for the September 2018 memorandum of understanding on Idlib to be upheld," he ended.
Earlier, Russian Permanet Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia told reporters that "the investigation by our ministry of defense and our deconflicting center demonstrated that there were no attacks at nine out of eleven facilities that were alleged to be attacked. And the rest [remaining] two were partially damaged, but they were not damaged how the investigation demonstrated by the Russian airspace forces."
Shortly after the meeting of the Security Council, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock issued a written statement in which he stated "in the last 80 days we have seen more than 350 civilians killed, many more injured, and 330,000 people displaced. More than 70 civilians have been killed so far this month - including women and children, some of them displaced and sheltering under trees, as well as humanitarian workers."
According to Lowcock, since 1 July, at least six health facilities, five schools, three water stations, two bakeries, and one ambulance have been damaged or destroyed. Entire villages have been destroyed and emptied.
"On 16 July we received reports of an attack on the main market street of Ma'ar Shureen village leaving 12 people dead, including a child, and 20 more injured," Lowcock stated further.
The Emergency Relief Coordinator, in his statement, called on the parties to the conflict to end the killing of civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure, respect, and investigate breaches of, international humanitarian law, as well as to ensure access to areas currently inaccessible to humanitarian assistance.