ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A massive explosion on Wednesday evening rocked the city of Afrin allegedly killing three and injuring over 18 civilians, activists told Kurdistan 24.
Sources from Afrin told Kurdistan 24 most of the injured were settlers from Ghouta.
Many casualties were being transported to Azaz because Afrin hospitals cannot handle the number of injuries, the sources added.
So far, the names of the victims could not be verified. It was also not immediately clear whether there were any deaths.
“A huge explosion shook Afrin city. A huge explosion shook Afrin city center half an hour ago on Rajo road in front of Abu Imad furnace. Killed and wounded are being reported,” the Twitter account, Afrin Activists, reported.
Initial pictures seem to indicate the explosion was triggered by a roadside IED or car or motorcycle bomb.
The explosion took place at 8:30 p.m. local time on the Rajo road, near the Newroz Roundabout.
The mysterious group Revenge Hawks claimed responsibility for the attack on Wednesday.
The group said its fighters detonated an explosive device and hit a van-type military vehicle carrying Turkish soldiers and Islamist rebels on the Rajo road.
“We, the group of Revenge Hawks, take full responsibility and confirm that we will continue to carrying out military operations until the liberation of Afrin from the Turkish occupation,” they said in a statement.
According to the unknown group, the explosion killed three Turkish soldiers and six Turkey-backed rebels, and severely injured 12 others.
This is not the first explosion targeting Afrin following the takeover of the Kurdish enclave by Turkey and its Islamist rebel allies in March.
On Aug. 22, three civilians were killed in an explosion on Rajo street in Afrin’s city center.
On June 27, another twin bombing in Afrin’s city center killed nine people, injuring several others.
Turkey and its Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels began a military campaign on Jan. 20 against the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), then in control of Afrin, located in Syria’s northwestern region.
After months of bombardment, which killed hundreds of people and displaced tens of thousands more, the enclave was eventually overrun by the Turkish army and FSA forces on March 18.
Since then, Afrin’s civilians have been victims of several human rights violations committed by the Turkish-backed groups and have witnessed infighting between the several factions backed by Turkey.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany