Car bomb kills two in north Syrian city of Afrin

The aftermath of a bombing in the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin that killed two and injured four others. (Photo: Social Media)
The aftermath of a bombing in the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin that killed two and injured four others. (Photo: Social Media)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A car bomb in the Turkish-occupied northwestern Syrian city of Afrin on Tuesday killed two people and injured four others.

According to a local source who spoke to Kurdistan 24, the casualties were caused when a booby-trapped car exploded on Kafer Janeh Road in Afrin’s Shera district.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The local Hawar News Agency (ANHA) also reported the incident and the Turkish news outlet Sonhaber claimed that only one was killed and two were injured.

Turkish-backed factions have controlled Afrin since March 2018 when the Turkish army launched a cross-border offensive to target the YPG, which, at the time, had been administering the area since 2012. The operation killed scores of civilians and forced hundreds of thousands of Kurds to flee their homes.

Since then, Afrin has been plagued by regular attacks on groups aligned with Turkey and indiscriminate bombings that have also killed civilians. In addition, the area sees frequent infighting between rival factions that also lead to civilian deaths.

On Saturday, roughly 10 civilians were killed and 34 injured by a rocket attack in Afrin, although some estimates since have been higher, putting the death count at 20, plus some 40 injured civilians. 

Read More: Rocket attacks in Syria's Afrin kill at least 10 civilians

The action has been widely condemned, including by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations.

Read More: UN envoy to Syria condemns deadly rocket attack on hospital in Afrin

On Tuesday, US Rep. Gregory Meeks, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also condemned the Afrin attack, writing on social media, “There is no moral or legal justification for such actions.”  

Both the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the YPG have denied responsibility for the attack, although Turkey quickly blamed the latter.

Charles Lister, an analyst at the Middle East Institute, claimed in a tweet that pro-Bashar al-Assad regime forces carried out the bombing.

Human rights organizations have accused armed groups operating in Afrin of committing war crimes, including intentional ethnic cleansing, kidnapping for ransom, and gender-based violence.

Read More: UN report suggests Turkish-backed groups commit war crimes in Afrin

Turkish-backed forces have also conducted deadly attacks on Tal Rifaat, a nearby district that houses nearly 170,000 displaced Kurds from Afrin.

Editing by John J. Catherine