UPDATES WITH GOVERNOR’S REMARKS, CHANGES HEADLINE AND LEAD
By Mehmet Kemal Firik, Cem Genco and Erdal Turkoglu
HATAY, Turkey (AA) - A Syrian national was killed and 46 civilians, including 16 Syrians, were injured in cross-border attacks by PYD/PKK terror group in southern Turkey, provincial governor said on Sunday.
Hatay Governor Erdal Ata said that between 3-4 p.m. local time (1200-1300GMT) six explosions were reported and at 6.40 p.m. (1540GMT) another five explosions took place in Reyhanli district of Hatay.
Nine of these incidents happened inside the residential area, while two others occurred outside.
“47 people were wounded in the explosions. 30 of them are Turks, 17 of them are Syrians. Unfortunately, later, one of our Syrian guests lost his life,” the governor said.
He said four injured were in critical condition and under medical treatment. "42 injured are discharged after outpatient treatment."
The governor also said a total of 15 vehicles, four houses and 10 workplaces were damaged in the blasts.
Earlier it was reported that Reyhanli district was targeted by four rockets; one hit a house on Rifat Bahadirli Street in Reyhanli and the other one hit a workplace at Cumhuriyet Street.
Third rocket hit Tayfur Sokmen Street while another hit the roof of a four-story apartment.
Fire brigades, security forces and Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) teams were sent to the area.
Ata said that the attacks are believed to be carried out by PYD/PKK terrorists from Afrin, casting doubt on the nature of ammo fired.
“We think that it is likely a rocket but it may be missile, too. Our crime scene investigation teams are carrying out their work [in the area],” Ata said, adding that the clear results would be given when the works are completed.
- Attack in Kilis province
Southeastern province of Kilis was also hit by four rockets launched from Afrin on Sunday evening.
According to initial reports, the rockets which were launched by PYD/PKK terrorist members in Afrin, hit four houses in central Kilis’ Ekrem Cetin and Baris neighborhoods.
Seven people, including two Syrian nationals, who were injured in the attack were referred to the state hospital in Kilis, according to the city’s governor Mehmet Tekinarslan.
The attack was responded by Turkish artillery units stationed in the region.
Kilis was first hit by four rockets on early Sunday, which struck a neighborhood in city center and slightly injured one Turkish citizen.
Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation was being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect to Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said the "utmost importance" was being given to not harm any civilian.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.