The Turkish military have discovered a hidden, 50-meter-long tunnel leading to an underground hospital wing during security sweeps in the town center of the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 25.
During the search, security forces found the tunnel, which provides access to the hospital from outside, the report said.
In one section of the hospital—where many medical supplies were said to be kept hidden—an X-ray machine and United States-made first aid materials were also found.
Medical drips and bloody uniforms indicated that militants were treated there during the Turkish military-led operation, according to the Turkish military.
Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” on Jan. 20 to clear Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from Afrin. On March 18, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) declared full control over the city.
Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
More than 3,700 militants ‘neutralized’ in Afrin
A total of 3,747 militants have been “neutralized” since the start of the Turkish-led military operation, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 25.
Authorities use the word “neutralized” in statements to imply the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.