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Three Turkish soldiers among 10 killed in suspected YPG car bomb in northern Syria

Suluk was previously targeted by a deadly car bombing in November 2019 [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 January, 2020

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Ankara has strongly condemned a suspected YPG car bomb which killed three Turkish soldiers and seven allied Syrian fighters at a traffic stop in Suluk, near the Turkish border.
A car bomb attack killed 10 people, including three Turkish soldiers, in an area of northern Syria controlled by Turkish forces on Thursday, a war monitor and Ankara said.

"Three of our brothers-in-arms fell as martyrs in a car bomb attack at a traffic stop," Turkey's defence ministry said in a statement, without adding further details.

Seven Turkish-backed fighters were also killed in the blast, according to monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The forces were carrying out roadside checks on vehicles when the attack took place in the village of Suluk, about 20 kilometres (12 miles)  southeast of the Syrian town of Tal Abyad.

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"We wish God's mercy on our martyrs who lost their lives in this attack that put us in deep pain. We offer condolences to their grieving families, Turkish Armed Forces, and our dignified nation," the Turkish defence ministry said in a statement. 

Syrian regime media also confirmed the attack, adding that the militia fighters killed were affiliated to the Ahrar Sharqia and Liwa Qaqa groups.

Turkish soldiers and their Syrian proxies launched an offensive against the US-backed Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in October last year.

Ankara 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.

Dozens of people have been killed in car and motorcycle bombs in areas of northern Syria controlled by Turkey and their Syrian proxies.

The attacks primarily target Turkey's soldiers and their affiliated Syrian fighters, but have killed scores of civilians.

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.

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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.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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