Deadly Blasts in Syria Continue as Turkey and Kurds Clash
At least 15 people were killed and over 30 were injured late Sunday when two car bombs detonated in northwestern Syrian towns controlled by Turkish-backed rebels, less than a day after a similar attack killed eight in the same area. Sunday’s successive explosions, in the town of Azaz and in another village some 50 km away, were both blamed by Ankara on Kurdish forces, which Turkey has designated as a terror organization linked with the outlawed Turkey-based Kurdish PKK party. According to Syrian rescue groups, there were 13 such incidents in the northwestern Aleppo region in January alone, where Syrian rebels backed and armed by Turkey and Kurdish troops fighting for autonomous control continue to do battle. In 2019, Turkey launched an offensive near the Syrian-Turkish border aimed at clearing the area of Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State. Ankara’s advance was eventually stopped at the insistence of Russia and the United States, but Turkey retains control of large chunks of northwestern Syria.