ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A fuel tanker exploded Tuesday in an attack on a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkish-backed opposition fighters, killing at least 40 civilians, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.
The ministry tweeted that the attack took place in a crowded street in Afrin and the dead included 11 children. It said 47 people were wounded.
Turkey’s state news agency cited unnamed security officials who said the attack was believed to have been carried out by Syrian Kurdish fighters linked to Kurdish militants fighting Turkey.
Turkey and allied Syrian fighters took control of Afrin in 2018 in a military operation that expelled local Kurdish fighters and displaced thousands of Kurdish residents. Ankara considers the Kurdish fighters who were in control of Afrin to be terrorists. Since then, there has been a series of attacks on Turkish targets in the area.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said Tuesday’s blast took place in a market and killed 36, including women and children, and wounded about 40 others.