Death toll from Turkish strikes on Sinjar clinic rises to eight

A combined picture of the eight people who died in Turkish strikes on a makeshift clinic in Sinjar

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Eight people were killed in Turkish strikes on a makeshift clinic in Sinjar on Tuesday, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Sinjar’s self-administration council said it had been working to identify the identity of the “martyrs” and the wounded since Turkey conducted “brutal” strikes on the clinic on Tuesday.

“But revealing their identity was delayed due to bombardment,” it said in a statement.

Eight people died, including four fighters of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) who received treatment at the clinic, it added.

Three others were employees at the clinic while the other was a doctor from Kurdish areas in northeast of Turkey who went to Sinjar in 2014 to cure wounded Yazidis, the statement read.

Four other employees of the clinic were also wounded, it said.

A Turkish drone targeted a clinic in the village of Sekaina in Sinjar district on Tuesday afternoon.

Sinjar’s deputy mayor Jalal Khalef told AFP that the air raid “totally destroyed” the clinic in Sinjar, a region Ankara regularly targets in operations against the Kurdish fighters affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The raid consisted of three drone strikes, a local official told AFP on Tuesday.

The strikes came one day after a Turkish drone bombed a vehicle in Sinjar, killing three Yazidi fighters including a local chief of the Popular Mobilization forces.

Among the wounded was another PKK official, a member of the Yazidi minority, according to AFP.

He was transferred for treatment to the Sekaina facility that was hit Tuesday, according to a Yazidi activist contacted by AFP. The PKK official had survived.

Images shared online by purported residents showed a basement and clinic reduced to rubble and black smoke rising into the air.

Turkish forces routinely conduct operations against PKK bases in rugged mountains in the Kurdistan Region.

On Friday, a Turkish airstrike killed a 50-year-old man in Disheshe village in Kani Mase sub-district, northeast of Duhok.

Turkish troops have maintained a network of bases in Iraq since the mid-1990s under security agreements struck with Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Iraq regularly decries violations of its sovereignty, and has repeatedly summoned the Turkish ambassador over Ankara’s cross-border military campaign.

But Iraq, which counts on Turkey as an important commercial partner, has refrained from taking punitive measures.

The Turkish offensive in the Kurdistan Region – particularly aerial bombing – has prompted hundreds of villagers to flee their homes.

*This story was updated at 02:44 p.m. EBL time 

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