More than 40 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a bomb attack near the Syrian border city of al-Bab, which was recently taken by Turkish forces and allied militants from Daesh terrorists.
The car bomb struck a checkpoint controlled by Turkish-backed militants in the village of Sousian about eight kilometers northwest of al-Bab on Friday, said the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Reuters cited sources in the region as saying that 35 civilians and seven militants were killed in the explosion.
The attack took place a day after Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Ankara’s forces and allied militants are almost in full control of al-Bab.
Turkey began a major military intervention in Syria in August without Damascus’ permission last year, sending tanks and warplanes across the border in a purported mission to fight Daesh.
The Syrian government has slammed the Turkish intervention as an act of aggression and violation of its sovereignty.
Turkish authorities first announced the capture of al-Bab last month. They have made similar claims at least twice since then.
Ankara has, for long, been demanding the creation of a buffer zone in the periphery of its border inside Syria, which holds great concentrations of Kurdish forces.
Turkish leaders consider the Kurds to be associated with the outlawed anti-Ankara Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).The PKK has been fighting for decades towards creating an independent state for itself in southeastern Turkey.