Five civilians killed, 12 wounded in Ras al Ayn, Syria bombing

(Afrin explosion added at the end of story)

Five civilians were killed and 12 wounded on Sunday in a bomb attack in Ras al Ayn, a town in northern Syria that Turkey captured in last October’s cross-border military operation, Turkey's Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or the Syrian Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) carried out the attack, the ministry said.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in October to drive members of the YPG away from its border. Turkey considers the group to be an extension of the PKK, which has fought for Kurdish self-rule within Turkey for decades.

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

In later hours on Sunday, another explosion reported from Afrin, northwest city of Syria. According to a video posted by Idlib Post, the explosion occurred on the Afrin-Cindires road.

According to Russian Sputnik agency, improvised explosive device (IED) was the cause. 

Turkish press reported one child killed, four injured in the explosion.

Turkish troops, along with militia groups like the Free Syrian Army, took control of Afrin in March 2018, following several months of intense clashes with Syrian Kurdish forces, who had at the time carved out an enclave in northeast Syria relatively isolated from Syria’s ongoing civil war.