AFRIN / IDLIB, Syria
At least two civilians were killed and 16 injured, including children, in terror attacks in northwestern Syria on Sunday, near Turkey’s southern border.
Two bombs exploded simultaneously in the cities of Afrin and Idlib, according to a local security source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Afrin was largely cleared of terrorists by Turkey in 2018 through its anti-terror offensive, Operation Olive Branch.
Idlib falls within a de-escalation zone forged under an agreement between Turkey and Russia.
The area, lying along Turkey’s southern border, has been the subject of multiple cease-fire understandings, which have been frequently violated by the Assad regime and its allies.
Earlier today, in Ras al-Ayn (Kobane), a Syrian city cleared of terrorists by Turkey’s 2019 Operation Peace Spring, a bomb attack targeting the marketplace killed eight civilians and wounded 20.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terrorist operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable peaceful settlement by locals: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).
In both northern Iraq and Syria, Turkey has targeted members of the PKK terror group, the group responsible for the death of tens of thousands of people in Turkey in recent decades.
The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group, and its members frequently try to infiltrate Turkish territory and areas liberated by Turkey to commit acts of terrorism.
*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur