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Car bomb goes off in Turkish-controlled northern Syrian city, eight dead

The file photo shows the aftermath of a car bomb explosion in the city of Ra’s al-Ayn, Hasakah province, northeastern Syria. (By Turkey’s IHA news agency)

Eight people, including women and children, have been killed in a car bomb attack in the strategic border city of Ra’s al-Ayn in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah which Turkish forces and allied militants captured in an offensive against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in October.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that the attack was carried out near a marketplace on Sunday. Some of the injured are in a critical condition.

The Turkish Defense Ministry blamed the YPG in a post on its official Twitter page.

The new bombing attack came after on June 5, two children were killed in a similar attack at the same place.

On October 9, 2019, Turkish forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push the YPG away from border areas.

Ankara views the YPG, which is supported by the White House, as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

Two week after the invasion began, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted the YPG had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area. The patrols have come under attacks by militants ever since.

That announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.

Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that US forces and allied Kurdish-led militants from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had arrested a number of local residents and internally displaced persons near a US base in the Jazira region of Hasakah.

Elsewhere in the northwestern province of Aleppo, Turkish-backed militants looted privately-owned property.

SANA reported that members of the Hamza Division terrorist group broke into several houses on Saturday, stealing money, furniture and home appliances.

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