More than 200,000 civilians have fled the city of Afrin in northern Syria in less than three days to escape a Turkish-led military offensive against a Kurdish forces, a war monitor said Saturday.
“There was fierce fighting throughout the night on the northern outskirts of the city as the Turkish forces and their Syrian allies tried to break into the city,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The exodus continued on Saturday with at least 50,000 civilians fleeing the city since the early hours of the morning, according to the Britain-based monitoring group, which relies on sources inside Syria for its information.
“The situation is terrifying,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
Turkey and its Syrian Arab rebel allies have waged a nearly two-month offensive on the Afrin enclave, which is held by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Earlier this week, they largely surrounded the enclave’s sole city, which was home to some 350,000 people, including people displaced from other parts of the enclave already overrun.