ONE KILLED AND SEVERAL INJURES IN A CAR BOMB EXPLOSION IN JARABLUS

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A car bomb exploded near a checkpoint of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Kholit al-Aoun village near Jarablus in northern Aleppo.

According to local sources, one civilian was killed and several others wounded as a result of the explosion. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

This is not the first time a car bomb targets FSA positions in Northern Aleppo. During the recent weeks, the area has witnessed several similar incidents, with the militants accusing Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces of standing behind the attacks.

The explosion happened a day after the Turkish troops in co-operation with the FSA factions have captured the city of Afrin, which used to be the main Kurdish stronghold in Aleppo and capital of the eponymous enclave.

The Turkish troops and the FSA factions managed to enter Afrin after almost two months since the beginning of the Olive Branch operation.

By capturing Afrin the Turkish forces cut the region into three isolated pockets ans opened the road to Idlib forces, where several Turkish observation points had been already established.

Turkish President Rejep Erdogan congratulated the nation on the success of the operation, saying that not a single civilian had been harmed during the clashes, a claim disputed by human rights activists who have reported dozens of civilian casualties.

In turn, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) representative Othman Sheikh Issa accused Turkish forces of committing an “ethnic cleansing” in Afrin and vowed to continue resistance by employing guerrilla war tactic.

Late January, the Turkish army supported by Free Syrian Army factions has launched operation Olive Branch seeking to capture the Kurdish-dominated region of Afrin in Aleppo province. Despite stubborn resistance of the YPG units, the Turkish troops managed to capture the section of the Syrian-Turkish border near the region and established control over several villages.

The Turkish offensive had a negative impact on the relations between Turkey and the US, which is supporting the Syrian Kurds as its main partner in the fight against ISIS. Moreover, the perspective of Turkish troops entering Manbij directly threatens the US military bases located several kilometres west of the city.

 

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