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Turkey launches suspected gas attack on Syria village Open in fullscreen

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Turkey launches suspected gas attack on Syria village

Turkey and allied Syrian rebels have waged a nearly month-long offensive against the YPG. [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 February, 2018

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Turkey and allied Syrian rebels have a war for the past month against Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters in Syria's Afrin region.

Turkey's military carried out a suspected gas attack that injured six people in Syria's Afrin region on Friday, a monitoring group and Kurdish forces have claimed.

Jiwan Mohammad, the general director of the Afrin hospital, said six men had arrived to the emergency room with "difficulty breathing, coughing, and burning all over the body." 

"We have treated them and are observing them now. We kept their clothes for testing," Mohammad told AFP

He added that their symptoms were in line with exposure to toxic agents. 

Mohammed added that they had arrived in civilian cars from al-Sheikh Hadid, west of the town of Afrin, and had told medics there was shelling on their village.

Turkey and allied Syrian rebels have waged a nearly month-long offensive against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which controls the Afrin region. 

The assault has seen heavy shelling on border areas between Afrin and Turkey. 

An AFP correspondent at the town hospital saw six men wearing oxygen masks and laying under wool blankets, some of them fading in and out of consciousness. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that six people were wounded in bombardment on al-Sheikh Hadid.

"Shelling from either Turkey or allied factions hit al-Sheikh Hadid and left six people with enlarged pupils and breathing difficulties," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP

Abdel Rahman said he could not confirm whether toxic gases were used. 

There was no immediate comment from the Turkish military, which has previously denied accusations of hitting civilians in its Afrin operation.

Ankara has insisted that it is taking all possible measures to protect civilians in its offensive, which it dubbed operation "Olive Branch."

The Observatory said at least 78 civilians have died in the assault. 

On 6 February the United Nations called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Syria.

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