Nearly a dozen people have lost their lives when a powerful car bomb explosion ripped through a northern Syrian border town seized by Turkish military forces and their allied militants in the aftermath of a cross-border incursion against militants of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack took place in the town of Suluk, which lies southeast of Tal Abyad district in Syria’s northern province of Raqqah, on Thursday evening.
The Britain-based war monitor said the blast targeted the headquarters of the Turkish-backed and so-called Ahrar al-Sharqiya (Free Men of the East) militant group, leaving seven members of the Takfiri outfit dead.
The Observatory added that three Turkish soldiers were among the fatalities, noting that the death toll is expected to rise as some of the wounded are in critical condition.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push YPG militants away from border areas.
Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.
On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.
The announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.
Militant rocket attack leaves six civilians dead in Aleppo
Meanwhile, at least six civilians were killed in Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo after foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants launched a number of projectiles at a residential neighborhood.
An unmanned source at Aleppo Police Command told Syria’s official news agency SANA that terrorists positioned on the western and northwestern outskirts of Aleppo fired three rockets at al-Sukari neighborhood, claiming the lives of six people and leaving 15 others wounded.
The attack also inflicted material damage on civilian houses and property, SANA added.
The Observatory, however, put the death toll at eight, saying some 25 people also sustained injuries in the terrorist attack.