The moments of panic and despair in a civilian shelter in Maryamayn village in northwestern Syria's Afrin district were filmed by a local journalist after it was hit by a rocket by fleeing PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists.
On March 9, the 49th day of the Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters liberated Maryamayn, a predominantly Arab village inhabited by 10,000 people near the Afrin town center.
YPG/PKK terrorists indiscriminately fired rockets into the village to halt the advance of Turkish and FSA forces after they fled.
One of the rockets hit a civilian shelter where more than 30 people, mostly women and children, had sought refuge.
Muhammed Haj Mustafa, a freelance journalist working for the Anadolu Agency, captured the moments of panic with an action camera.
The footage begins with the whistling sound of a rocket and a subsequent explosion as Mustafa walks down on Maryamayn's main street. The journalist rushes to the explosion site and finds the shelter, damaged by the explosion and covered with a cloud of dust as people scream and look for their relatives.
Mustafa seeks help outside the shelter and helps civilians evacuate the shelter.
The explosion injured more than 10 women and children, mainly due to the flying shrapnel pieces.
Mustafa said that the terrorists aimed at the shelter, possibly with a TOW rocket, a weapon commonly supplied to the terrorists by the U.S.
Ambulances were dispatched by the TSK, and some of the wounded were transferred to a hospital in the town of Azaz near the Turkish border.
Indiscriminate shelling of Turkish towns and cities along with cross border attacks on security forces are among the main reasons of Turkish military operations in northern Syria.
Initially, Turkey launched the Operation Euphrates Shield that pushed Daesh terrorists out from Turkey's borders and liberated the towns of Jarablous, al-Rai, Dabiq and al-Bab between Aug. 2016 and March 2017. So far, some 150,000 civilians have returned to areas previously occupied by the terrorist group.
The Operation Olive Branch was launched on Jan. 20 to clear PKK/PYD/YPG/KCK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, secure its southern border regions and help Syrian refugees to return to areas occupied by terrorist groups. On March 18, the town of Afrin was liberated from PKK/YPG terrorists, leaving only a narrow strip including the town of Tal Rifaat still controlled by the terrorist group.