QAMISHLI, Syria (Kurdistan 24) - A car bomb exploded on Friday in the predominately Kurdish northern Syrian city of Qamishli, just as it has been targeted by cross-border airplane and artillery bombardment by Turkey.
So far, the death toll from the car bombing is unconfirmed, but initial reports suggest that several people have perished and dozens have been wounded, according to initial reports.
The blast rung out on Friday on Munir Habib Street near the city's bustling Omari Restaurant, popular with residents. Three people were killed and nine were injured, according to local Kurdish security forces (Asayish).
Firefighters, ambulance workers, and rescue teams were immediately rushed to the scene to offer assistance.
People at the explosion site told Kurdistan 24 that dozens of bodies are still buried beneath under the rubble as the explosion damaged multiple buildings in the vicinity as well as burning several cars parked nearby.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion, but the Asayish stated its belief in a press release that the Islamic State is behind the attack, based on recent sleeper cell activity that appears to be exploiting the security vacuum caused by the Turkish incursion on northern Syria that began on Wednesday.
“We have repeatedly warned that the biggest beneficiary of such attacks is the terrorist organization of Daesh [Islamic State], which appears to have begun to increase its movements since the beginning of [the] Turkish invasion and reorganize its cells to revive the terrorist thought again,” read the Asayish statement.
The explosion occurred on the west side of the city, concurrently with shelling and aerial bombardment by the Turkish army against northern neighborhoods near the border on Friday, where a civilian was killed and seven others were wounded.
Editing by John J. Catherine