ANKARA (Reuters) – The Turkish Defence Ministry said on Saturday that a car bomb attack by Syrian Kurdish fighters killed 10 people and wounded more than 15 in the northern Syrian border town of Al-Bab, which Turkish forces seized in a 2016 offensive.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said that 18 people were killed and at least 30 others were wounded in the attack. It said several cars and buildings in the vicinity of the blast had also been damaged.
Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies have so far mounted three separate offensives in northern Syria against Islamic State and the YPG Kurdish militia, seizing areas along its border. They launched another offensive against the YPG in northeastern Syria last month.
Ankara views the YPG, the main component of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey.
In a statement on Twitter, the Defence Ministry said the YPG had detonated the car bomb in the Al-Bab bus terminal, killing 10 people.
“Inhumane and uncivilized PKK/YPG terrorists continue to target innocent civilians using the same methods as DAESH (Islamic State),” the ministry said.
Turkey’s latest offensive was widely condemned by Ankara’s Western allies, who said the assault could hinder the fight against Islamic State in Syria. Turkey has dismissed the concerns, saying it will continue to combat Islamic State.
Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Frances Kerry