UPDATES WITH MORE ROCKET ATTACKS IN HATAY
By Rauf Maltas, Erdal Turkoglu and Lale Koklu
KILIS/HATAY, Turkey (AA) - Two civilians died and at least 19 others injured by rocket attacks launched by PYD/PKK terrorists from Syria across the Turkish border on Friday.
Sixteen people were injured when six rockets landed in the Hatay province’s Reyhanli district, according to a press statement issued by Hatay governor's office. The rockets landed in various areas, notably at a house and near a public market.
Two civilians, Ahmet Sanverdi and Rifat Sinirli, who were taken to the hospital after the attacks, succumbed to their wounds, said hospital sources.
Later on Friday, three more rockets landed in the rural area of Reyhanli. No human casualties were reported in the attacks.
Kilis Governor Mehmet Tekinarslan said three rockets had landed in the border province of Kilis on Friday, injuring three civilians; one of them is in critical condition.
The PYD/PKK terrorist attacks on civilian areas come amid the Turkish-led counter-terrorist operation in Afrin, northwestern Syria, near the border.
Turkish forces immediately responded to Friday's attacks with Firtina howitzers.
Since the start of the operation, PYD/PKK cross-border attacks on civilians have killed seven people and injured at least 98, including Friday's attack.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN Charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.