Turkish Officials Say Mortar Kills 9-month-old as Kurdish News Reports Attacks on Civilians

Reports: Turkish strikes hit civilians in Syria

Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, as seen from the Turkish border town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 10, 2019.
Murad Sezer/Reuters

Turkish officials say a 9-month-old baby and a Turkish civil servant have been killed after mortars were fired from Kurdish-held northern Syria into Turkish border towns.

The governor's office of Sanliurfa province said in a statement Thursday the baby was of Syrian nationality. It said 46 people were wounded in the rocket and mortar attacks.

Turkey has pointed to past cross-border mortar attacks by Syrian Kurdish militants as a threat to its national security

Syrian Kurdish fighters have struck at least five different Turkish borders towns with dozens of mortars since Turkey launched a cross-border offensive against the group Wednesday.

Residents were asked to evacuate immediate border areas, remain indoors and be vigilant. Turkey has argued the operation as necessary for its national security.

Turkey's invasion of northeastern Syria has been widely condemned.

A Kurdish news agency and a war monitor say Turkish troops have bombarded a convoy of vehicles taking residents of the northern city of Raqqa to a border town, inflicting casualties among them.

The Kurdish Hawar news agency said the Thursday's attack on the road leading to the border town of Tal Abyad killed three people and wounded several others.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Turkish airstrike occurred when a convoy carrying a tribal leader reached the entrance of Tal Abyad. It said several people were wounded but that no one was killed.

Such contradictions in casualties' figures are common in the aftermath of attacks.

Turkish troops have been bombarding the town of Tal Abyad since the start of their ground offensive against Kurdish fighters on Wednesday.