Syria bus attack kills one, wounds four in Manbij: monitor

Syria bus attack kills one, wounds four in Manbij: monitor
One teacher was killed and four others were injured after a roadside bomb detonated in the former IS stronghold of Manbij.
2 min read
02 February, 2019
War in Syria has caused a humanitarian crisis [Getty]

A roadside bomb struck a bus carrying teachers in Manbij killing one person on Saturday, the latest in a spate of attacks in the northern Syrian city since mid-January, a war monitor said.

The device exploded as the bus passed, killing the driver and wounding at least four others, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.  

Sherfan Darwish, a spokesman for Manbij's military council, reported on Twitter a "terrorist explosion with an explosive device against a vehicle of teachers".

Manbij is a former Islamic State (IS) group stronghold that is now held by a military council affiliated to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Arab force that is supported by a US-led coalition.

On January 16, four Americans were among 19 people killed in a suicide attack in the city claimed by IS.

On Friday, an explosion wounded a senior leader of the military council as he was on patrol, Abdel Rahman said.

The attacks follow US President Donald Trump's announcement in December that he would withdraw American troops from Syria, as he declared IS had been defeated.

After a lightning offensive that saw it seize large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014, the group's self-declared "caliphate" has crumbled under pressure from multiple offensives, but the jihadists remain able to launch deadly attacks.

Manbij constitutes a major point of contention between Syria's Kurdish minority, which maintains de facto autonomy in parts of northern and northeastern Syria, and neighbouring Turkey.

In December, Ankara threatened to launch a new offensive to dislodge the People's Protection Units (YPG) - a Kurdish militia that forms the backbone of the SDF, but is considered a terrorist group by Turkey - from its borders.

The Syrian war began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

At least tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.

The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab