DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – A car bomb blast in northeastern Syria targeting a checkpoint manned by Turkish-backed militants has killed at least five people, according to Turkey’s state media.
The bombing in the village of Tal Halaf, near the border town of Ras al-Ain, also wounded 12 people, Anadolu agency reported quoting local sources.
Turkish forces and their militant allies in Syria last year seized a 120km (75-mile) stretch of land inside the Syrian border from Kurdish forces viewed by Ankara as "terrorists”, running from Ras al-Ain to Tal Abyad.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s blast. Anadolu said security forces in the area were examining the possibility that Kurdish militants may have carried out the attack.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based war monitor, gave a higher casualty toll in the explosion - nine people killed and 15 wounded.
It was the latest in a series of attacks that have rocked the area in recent months, including several in the past week alone.
The SOHR said an explosives-rigged motorbike in Ras al-Ain killed two civilians and a militant on Tuesday, two days after another explosion in a vegetable market in the town killed eight people, six of them civilians.
Ankara views the Kurdish-led so-called People’s Protection Units as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has waged a deadly armed campaign in southeastern Turkey since 1984.
The foreign-backed war in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions from their homes.