U.S. condemns deadly Syria truck bomb as Turkey blames Kurds

The United States condemned a truck bomb that killed at least 40 people in northern Syria's Kurdish-majority province of Afrin on Tuesday.

"The United States condemns the act of terror carried out today in Afrin, Syria, claiming the lives of dozens of people shopping in the central market as they prepared to break the Ramadan fast,” the State Department said in a statement.

“Initial reports indicate many victims were civilians, including children," the statement said.

At least 47 others were wounded in the attack in the centre of Afrin, which was carried out using a bomb-rigged fuel tanker, the Turkish Defence Ministry said.

The Turkish government blamed the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish militia, the People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey says is a terrorist group linked to the PKK.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Twitter called for the implementation of a nationwide ceasefire in Syria after "today’s cowardly act of terror carried out on innocent victims in #Afrin".

"Such acts of evil are unacceptable from any side in this conflict,” he added.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu also condemned the attack on Tuesday and blamed the two Kurdish militias.

“The treacherous (PKK/YPG) terrorist organisation will not get away with the attack carried out in Afrin on Mubarak Ramadan,” Soylu said on Twitter.

Turkish troops and their Syrian Islamist allies took control of Afrin on March 17, 2018, after a two-month offensive against the YPG. 

Turkish-controlled areas in northern Syria have been a frequent target of bomb attacks that have claimed the lives of several Turkish-backed militia and civilians.