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Eight killed in mortar and rocket attack on Nusaybin, Turkey

On Friday, October 11th 2019, rockets and mortars landed on civilian areas in the town of Nusaybin, which lies along Turkey’s border with Syria in Mardin province. Eight people were reported killed and 35 wounded.

The mortars and rockets were thought to have been fired by YPG or PKK forces in neighbouring Syria.

The wounded were taken to hospitals in the region.

Turkey also continues their campaign on Kurdish areas in northeast Syria. By Friday it was estimated that 100,000 people had fled their homes in the area, with many taking refuge in shelters and schools.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources. In the first nine months of 2019, AOAV recorded 45 civilian casualties from explosive violence in Turkey. Most occurred in areas along the Syrian border and were alleged to have been perpetrated by the PKK or YPG forces.

Last year, AOAV recorded 87 civilian casualties from similar attacks.

However, Turkish use of explosive weapons has also caused civilian casualties in attacks targeting Kurdish areas in Iraq and Syria.

Since 2011, AOAV has recorded 747 civilian casualties from Turkish explosive violence in Iraq and Syria. (640 occurred in Syria and 107 in Iraq.) 48 of these casualties occurred this year. Though 33 of these occurred in Kurdish areas of Iraq, rather than Syria.

The majority of the casualties recorded from Turkish explosive weapons occurred in Aleppo in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The 259 civilian casualties recorded from Turkish explosive violence in 2018 are mostly those from the Turkish bombardment of Afrin and surrounding areas in their offensive to take the city from Kurdish forces.

The current Turkish offensive in the region not only puts civilians on both sides of the Turkish-Syrian border at further risk from explosive weapons and their reverberating impacts but also risks destabilising the region further.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. AOAV encourages all armed actors to stop using explosive weapons with wide-area affects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.