Explosion in Afrin injures three people

Three were injured by a car bomb explosion in Afrin city (Photo: social media)
Three were injured by a car bomb explosion in Afrin city (Photo: social media)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Three people were reported injured when a car bomb exploded in the Kurdish city of Afrin in the northern countryside of Syria’s Aleppo province.

“The explosion was caused by the detonation of an [improvised explosive] in a car in Al-Villat street in Afrin city, which injured three persons at least and caused material damage,” the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.

On Tuesday an explosion in a home in Afrin’s countryside killed two people.

The bomb killed two civilians, Newzed Ekrem Tobal (45) and Hayfa Sherif Qasim (23), in the Basute village in Afrin's Sherawa district.

The Human Rights Organization in Afrin reported that after the explosion Nawzed’s wife and two members of their family were detained by Turkish-backed groups and his house and property were seized.

Newzed had previously been kidnapped twice by armed groups and released after paying a ransom.

According to open-source researcher Caki Akyuz Wednesday’s bombing is reported to have targeted members of the group Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah that has been accused of the kidnapping of civilians for ransom and the murder of the Kurdish female politician Hevrin Xelef.

Turkish-backed factions have controlled Afrin since March 2018 when the Turkish army launched a cross-border offensive to target the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which has controlled the area since 2012. The operation killed scores of civilians and forced thousands of Kurds to flee their homes.

“Security chaos inside Afrin city and the Afrin region remains unbearable for civilians who live under the SNA and Turkish control,” he told Kurdistan 24, referring to the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army of which Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah is a component.

Turkish-backed groups operating in the area have been accused by human rights organizations of war crimes, including intentional ethnic cleansing, kidnapping for ransom, and gender-based violence.

“Turkey has shown they have no control over these groups and they will do as they wish. Fractions between Arab and Turkmen groups keep growing with infighting happening pretty much weekly, with Turkmen groups being favoured by Turkey,” Akyuz said.

He added that recent weeks have seen increased infighting between the groups Jaysh al-Islam and Jahbat al-Shamiya.

Afrin has been plagued by regular attacks on Turkish-backed forces and indiscriminate bombings that have also killed civilians. The area sees frequent infighting between rival factions that also lead to civilian deaths.

Hisham Skeif, the deputy political official of the group Liwa al-Salam, earlier told the news website Syria TV that the infighting among Turkish-backed groups is a chronic problem.

No one has credibly claimed responsibility for these incidents, but the Turkish state blames insurgents tied to the YPG for similar deadly attacks. The Kurdish-led self-administration in northeast Syria, spearheaded by the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has also condemned previous attacks while rejecting the Turkish accusations.

Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly