Car bomb explosion kills at least 13 in northern Syria
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – At least 13 people were killed, and many others injured in a car bomb explosion in a northern Syrian town that Turkey took control of last month, officials said.
Turkey’s Defence Ministry said that the armed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), while a group aligned with the Kurds blamed Turkey.
“The attack in Tal Abyad that targeted civilians is noteworthy for those that see the YPG as innocent and protects them,” Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, tweeted.
A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the YPG makes up a large part, denied any responsibility.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said pro-Turkey fighters and civilians were among the dead and injured in Tel Abyad. Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu Agency said 13 were killed after a “bomb-laden vehicle” exploded.
Tel Abyad is one of two major border towns that saw the heaviest fighting when Ankara launched the incursion on Oct. 9 against the Syrian Kurdish YPG that drew international condemnation. The YPG had for years been allied to the United States in the fight against Islamic State.
While Moscow has said the YPG have withdrawn to at least 30 km (18 miles) from the border under the deal, Ankara has been skeptical and held out the possibility of new attacks if members of what it sees as a terrorist group remain.
“We condemn this inhuman attack of the bloody PKK/YPG terrorists who attacked the innocent civilians of Tel Abyad who returned to their homes and lands as a result of the Operation Peace Spring,” Turkey’s defense ministry said on Twitter.
Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also pointed the finger at the YPG.