Skip to main content

Syria: Scores killed in suspected bomb attack in Afrin

Activist group says blast in market caused by an explosive device placed inside a fuel truck
Still from Turkish MoD video showing the explosion (Twitter)

At least 40 people have been killed after a bomb exploded in the northwestern Syrian town of Afrin.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group, the blast happened when an "explosive device inside a fuel truck exploded in a market".

The governor of Turkey's border province of Hatay said Turkish forces have captured a person suspected of driving the truck to the targeted area. 

A video shared by the Turkish defence ministry showed black smoke billowing in the air while police and ambulance sirens sounded:

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


The ministry said at least 40 civilians were killed, including 11 children, in the blast.

It blamed the attack on the pro-Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG), who controlled Afrin until March 2018, when they were driven out by Turkish-backed forces.

"The enemy of humanity PKK/YPG has once again targeted innocent civilians in Afrin," the Turkish ministry said.

The PKK has been waging a bloody insurgency in Turkey for three decades.

Tuesday's blast was one of the deadliest to hit a region under the control of Turkish-backed forces.

Ankara frequently blames the YPG for the attacks, while the militia says it does not target civilians.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.