At minimum 40 persons have been killed in a bomb attack in the north-western Syrian city of Afrin, Turkey suggests.
The governor of the neighbouring Turkish border province of Hatay said a fuel tanker rigged with a hand grenade exploded at a crowded market location.
He and Turkey’s defence ministry blamed the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PKK), a group that has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for many years.
Afrin is managed by Turkish forces and allied Syrian opposition factions.
In 2018, they released a joint procedure to push the Syrian Kurdish People’s Defense Models (YPG) militia out of the city and its surrounding area.
The Turkish govt accuses the YPG of currently being an extension of the PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU.
The YPG, which the US relied on to defeat the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria, states they are separate entities.
The fuel tanker exploded at an open up air market in the central Souk Ali space of Afrin on Monday afternoon, close to the area government’s workplaces, in accordance to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United kingdom-primarily based checking team.
The market is ordinarily entire of shoppers in the hours just before Muslims crack their day by day fasts for the holy month of Ramadan.
Images from the scene confirmed thick black smoke climbing over a residential location, and cars and trucks and meals stalls on fire.
The Turkish defence ministry claimed all of these killed in the attack have been civilians and that they incorporated 11 youngsters. Forty-7 other civilians were being wounded, it added.
“The enemy of humanity PKK/YPG has once once more targeted harmless civilians in Afrin,” the ministry tweeted, with out providing any proof.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Legal rights said 40 civilians ended up killed together with six Syrian opposition fighters allied to Turkey.
The Syria Civil Defence, whose rescue workers are generally recognised as the White Helmets, denounced the “horrific massacre” of civilians. It put the loss of life toll at 42.
It said the assault was “just one much more nail in the coffin of the Syrian men and women” and known as for “international intervention to conserve life and defend innocents”.
There was no fast remark from the YPG.