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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Car bombs kill six in pro-Turkey north Syria: monitor

The bombs shook Afrin and Ras al-Ain [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 January, 2021

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Children were among six people killed in two car bombings in Syria on Saturday.
Two car bombings in separate parts of Turkish-controlled areas of northern Syria killed six people on Saturday, including children, a war monitor said.

In the first, a car bomb near a vegetable market killed five people including two children in the border town of Ras al-Ain, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A second explosives-rigged vehicle detonated in the town of Jindires in the Afrin region, taking the life of one civilian and wounding nine others including two children, it said. 

Such explosions are common in both Ras al-Ain and the Afrin region, which Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies seized from Kurdish fighters in 2019 and 2018 respectively.

The Observatory said at least three of the victims killed in Ras al-Ain were civilians, but the identity of the other two was not immediately clear. Four more were wounded.

The Turkish defence ministry said two children had been killed and two civilians wounded.

Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies in October 2019 seized a 120-kilometre (75-mile) stretch of land inside the Syrian border from Kurdish forces, running from Ras al-Ain to Tal Abyad.

They had already taken control of the Afrin region, more than 300 kilometres (180 miles) west of there, in early 2018.

Turkey blamed the Ras al-Ain attack on the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara accuses of being the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), that has waged an insurgency against Turkey since 1984.

The YPG has also played a key role in the US-backed fight against the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria.

A spate of such bombings have rocked pro-Turkey parts of north Syria over the past years.

On December 10, a car bomb killed 16 people including two civilians and three Turkish personnel at a checkpoint in Ras al-Ain.

On November 24, a car bomb went off near a bakery in Afrin, killing three people and wounding 16 others.

More than 387,000 people have been killed and millions forced from their homes since Syria's civil war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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