Turkish airstrikes in and around the Syrian town of al-Bab have killed at least 10 civilians, including a child, a monitoring group says.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that Turkish warplanes launched the airstrikes against the northern town and the nearby area of Tadif on Thursday.
Turkey, which started an incursion into Syria in August last year, is now in the middle of a military operation with the declared objective of retaking al-Bab from Daesh terrorists.
While Turkish officials deny that airstrikes have killed civilians, the Observatory says almost 250 civilians lost their lives and more than a thousand others sustained injuries between November 13 last year and January 15 this year as a result of Turkish artillery attacks and airstrikes against northern Syrian towns.
‘Bogged down in the Syrian quagmire’
At least 48 Turkish soldiers have also been killed since the battle began to take al-Bab, according to an AFP tally.
On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “finish the job” in al-Bab, but said it was not necessary for the military to push any deeper inside Syria.
Turkish officials have repeatedly claimed in the last few weeks that al-Bab would be taken imminently, but Faruk Logoglu, a former Turkish ambassador to the United States and ex-opposition MP, has said Turkey is being “drawn further into the Syria quagmire,” because it “is lacking final objectives and an exit strategy.”
“The target given is well beyond what’s achievable. That’s the problem,” Logoglu told AFP.
The incursion was the first major Turkish military intervention in Syria, which drew strong condemnation from the Syrian government for violating the Arab country’s sovereignty.