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The New Arab Staff

Deadly 'PKK bombing' and Syrian rebel clashes kill civilians

Turkish and rebel troops control Ras Al-Ain [Getty-file photo]

Date of publication: 23 July, 2020

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A bombing in Ras Al-Ain and intra-rebel clashes have rocked an uneasy peace in northern Syria.

Clashes and a bombing rocked towns in northern Syria under the control of rebel and Turkish forces late Wednesday and Thursday morning, injuring and killing a number of civilians.

A car bomb exploded in Ras Al-Ain in Hassakah province on Thursday morning, killing at least two civilians and injuring seven more, according to Turkish media.

Syrian state media reported five people killed, while Al-Arabiya said four were dead and ten injured after the explosion.

Sources told Anadolu news agency that an area close to the local assembly building was targeted in Ras Al-Ain, which lies close to the Turkish border.

Turkish authorities said they suspected the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) or what Ankara calls its Syrian offshoot, the People's Protection Units (YPG), were behind the attack.

The bombing came hours after deadly clashes erupted between rival Syrian rebel groups in Afrin, another border town controlled by Turkish and opposition forces killing one woman.

Fighting have erupted between rival factions within the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition groups in recent weeks in northern Syria.

Two rebel fighters were killed in Jarabalus last week, in the latest intra-opposition clashes.

Syrian rebel groups played a key role in three Turkish-led offensives in northern Syria against the Islamic State group and YPG.

Syrian regime and Russian forces have also struck the Turkish-rebel controlled town of Al-Bab at least twice over the past week, killing three people.

On Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish forces would remain in Syria until the country was "free".

"We will continue to stay in this country until our thousand-year neighbour and brother, the Syrian people, reach freedom, peace and security," Erdogan said in a televised speech in the capital Ankara.

It came as Syria held parliamentary elections were held on Sunday, which have been widely derided as a sham with the results not recognised by the UN. 

Towns and cities under the control of Turkey and rebel forces have been frequently targeted in bomb and missile attacks by suspected Kurdish militant groups.

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