Dozens dead and wounded in Kurdish-Assyrian town in NE Syria

Three simultaneous car bomb attacks killed at least twenty-five people and wounded, at least, fifty others Thursday night in Tell Tamr, a multi-ethnic town in Syrian Kurdistan.

QAMISHLI, ERBIL (K24, Agencies) - Three simultaneous car bomb attacks killed at least twenty-five people and wounded fifty others Thursday night in Tel Tamer, a multi-ethnic town of 5,000 some thirty kilometers northwest of the city of Hasaka, in northeast Syria.

A Kurdish medic working at the Tel Tamer Meydani Hospital, Dr. Dara Ibrahim told Kurdistan24 TV on Friday that he was afraid that the number of dead might rise. One of the car bombs exploded near the hospital where Dr. Ibrahim works.

Ibrahim said there were still bodies under the debris of several buildings where the apparently coordinated attacks occurred. The other two bombs went off in the Palestine Street and a popular vegetable market in the town that has been under Kurdish control since last year and administered by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in their self-declared Jazira Canton, one of three de-facto autonomous Kurdish regions of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan).

Ibrahim said that a majority of the victims are civilians and that some of the more heavily wounded were transported to hospitals in the nearby cities of Qamishli, Dirbesiye (Al-Darbasiyah), and Serekani (Ras al-Ayn) along the Turkish-Syrian border. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, on the other hand, reported Friday that it had "confirmed information" about casualties among the Asayish, the Kurdish internal security force.

A high-ranking Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) commander, Redur Xelil told Reuters that there was massive destruction in the town and that the number of those killed was between 50 and 60 and that “all of them [are] civilians.”

Meanwhile, in a statement published on the website of the Kurdish ANHA news agency, the co-presidency of the Jazira Canton condemned the triple attacks and accused the Islamic State group (IS) as well as Turkey for targeting the Kurdish-controlled region.

The IS-affiliated Amaq News Agency in a statement circulated Friday by the group's online supporters claimed that IS carried out the attacks targeting "the apostate PKK bases" in Tel Tamer. The statement claimed "60 apostates were killed" and more were wounded. The Islamic State group frequently refers to secular Kurdish parties and fighters as "apostates.”

The town of Tel Tamer came to international attention in February 2015 when the militant Islamic State group kidnapped at least 350 Assyrian-Christians. Dozens, mostly elderly women, have been released since, but a majority remains in the hands of the Islamist extremist group.

(Hayber Othman and Cimen Adil contributed to this report from Qamishli and Erbil)