Middle East

Several Turkish soldiers kills in Car bomb in northern Syria

Several people have lost their lives when a car bomb explosion struck a northern Syrian village 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).

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that a car rigged with explosives went off near Hammam al-Turkman village, which lies in Tal Abyad district of Syria’s northern province of Raqqah, on Thursday, leaving a number of Turkish soldiers and their Syrian proxies dead.

The sources added that Turkish ambulances rushed to the site of the explosion, and transported dead bodies as well as those injured in the attack to Turkey.

Last week, a car bomb blast targeted the headquarters of the Turkish-backed and so-called Ahrar al-Sharqiya (Free Men of the East) militant group in the northern Syrian town of Suluk in the Turkish-controlled Tal Abyad border region.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at the time that seven Takfiri militants and three Turkish soldiers were killed in the explosion.

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.

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