Deadly car bomb explodes in packed Syria marketplace

Deadly car bomb explodes in packed Syria marketplace
A suspected YPG car bombing has killed at least 17 people after it struck a marketplace near Ras al-Ain, a former Kurdish stronghold recently taken over by Turkish-backed rebel group.
2 min read
26 November, 2019
A man walks among the vehicles destroyed in Tuesday's bombing of Tal Halaf [Getty]
At least 17 people have been killed and over 20 injured in a car bombing that hit a village near Ras al-Ain, Hasakah province in Syria’s northeast on Tuesday.

Local sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that a car exploded in the marketplace of Tal Halaf.

The sources added that among the casualties were several members of the Syrian National Army, a rebel group backed by Turkey and deployed as its ground troops in its cross-border offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria’s northern border areas.

The death toll will likely to rise due to some of the victims suffering from serious injuries, while a large number of people are thought to be buried beneath rubble.

Footage, purported to be of the scene, showed a number of cars on fire and ambulances being loaded with casualties.

Earlier on Tuesday, ten people were wounded when a car bomb was detonated in the town of Afrin in northern Syria, which is under Turkish control.

A device was exploded in a taxi parked next to a popular restaurant, damaging a number of shops and cars as well as the casualties.

No organisation has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, however observers suspected the attacks were carried out by Kurdish militants.

Since Turkey's incursion into Syria's Kurdish areas beginning in 2018, groups such as the YPG militia have targeted the area with a string of deadly attacks.

Turkey's 2018 operation which aimed to push out Kurds and Kurdish forces from the border areas killed scores of civilians and sparked the mass displacement of Kurds out of Afrin, which some have equated to ethnic cleansing

Ankara has since launched a further operation into Syria's northern border area, taking over a 32km (20-mile) deep "safe zone" along 480km (300 miles) of the Syrian side of the border.

In-depth: Syrian Sufis fear extremists fighting alongside Turkish army

Armed Syrian rebel groups backed by Turkey are alleged to have committed war crimes against Kurds in the latest offensive.

Out-gunned and having lost US support, the Kurds have been forced to withdraw from the area, striking deals with the Syrian regime to hand over swathes of territory it won back from the Islamic State.

Turkey considers the Syrian YPG a terrorist organisation, accusing it of being an extension of the PKK, a Kurdish group who have led a long and bloody insurgency in Turkey.

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