Explosion hits anti-Turkey demonstration in Manbij, deaths reported
At least one death and dozens of injured people have been reported after an explosion struck an anti-Turkey demonstration in the north Syrian town of Manbij, according to local news reports.
At least one of the town’s inhabitants has been killed and 22 were injured in the powerful blast on Thursday, Kurdish outlet ANF News reported, citing sources from the hospital.
“Additional sources have reported three dead, those this has not been confirmed,” it added.
The protesters were reportedly marching against Turkish threats of invasion. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Manbij, an area where U.S. forces are currently deployed, has become a flashpoint since the beginning of the year due to repeated threats from Turkey to attack the area and expel the predominantly Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces it said were in control of the region.
Turkey views the YPG as a satellite of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and invaded Afrin, an enclave west of Manbij, in January to expel YPG forces, which it perceives as a grave threat.
In June a “roadmap” was signed between Turkey and the United States for the withdrawal of YPG forces from Manbij this year.
According to the terms of the deal, U.S. and Turkish forces are carrying out coordinated patrols on the periphery of the Manbij area.