31 schools hit, 50,000 students out of school during Turkey's Afrin offensive, report

by Gokcan Aydogan    


The world is watching. But Turkey and allied Free Syrian Army militias bombing northern Syria's Afrin don't seem to care about the international outrage.

Thirty days of air strikes, rocket attacks and artillery bombardment by Turkey's government forces left more than 150 civilians dead - including at least 30 children - in the besieged Afrin. Another 300 were injured.

The escalating battle for control of the Kurdish YPG-held town and villages is being likened to the horror of Aleppo and eastern Ghouta, where parts of the historic city were reduced to rubble.

Schools are supposed to be safe places for children, protected under international law, yet they are being attacked every single day. Children and teachers are terrified that at any moment they could be hit. 31 schools have been hit, and 13 students were killed by indiscriminate bombardments. 

Rojava Center for Strategic Studies says 31 schools in Afrin have been attacked since the start of Turkey's offensive. Many other schools have closed for days at a time because of the danger. 

Turkey's bombings have barred more than 50,000 students from education in total.

Attacks on school and hospitals during the conflict are violations of international law. Turkey has not signed the Safe Schools Declaration - an international commitment to protect education from attacks and stop the military use of schools. So far, 72 countries have signed.