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Car bomb in Tel Halaf kills 5, latest in Syrian town captured by Turkey from YPG

The aftermath of a car bomb explosion the killed at least 7 people in Al Bab, Syria on April 7, 2018. Image: @aa_french/Twitter

Turkey’s defense ministry announced that a car bomb killed five civilians in northeast Syria on Thursday, December 19, the latest in a series of similar bombings in Turkish-controlled parts of the country.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which occurred in the town of Tel Halaf, southwest of Ras al-Ayn, the defense ministry said. Syrian state news agency SANA said 11 were wounded.

The number could not be independently verified by The Defense Post.

Turkey launched an incursion into northeast Syria on October 9, dubbed Operation Peace Spring, to rout the predominantly-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia from the two countries’ border area between the Syrian towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tel Abyad.

The bombing is the second such attack reported by Syrian state media in the area in just two days.

A series of vehicle bombs have ravaged towns controlled by Syrian rebels backed by Turkey’s special forces, killing and injuring dozens of bystanders.

Turkey’s defense ministry has accused the YPG of setting the car bombs. Ankara considers the YPG to be a terrorist organization inextricably tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

The U.S.-led military Coalition against Islamic State supported the YPG in the war against ISIS and still maintains military relations with the group, but has avoided any involvement in the militia’s fight against Turkey’s invasion.

The Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad has also condemned Turkey’s incursion.

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