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SEPTEMBER 2020

Turkish Forces Place Afrin Under Full Lock Down As Death Toll From Recent Bombing Rises

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Turkish Forces Place Afrin Under Full Lock Down As Death Toll From Recent Bombing Rises

Turkish forces are seen near Mount Barsaya, northeast of Afrin, Syria January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Turkish forces placed the occupied city of Afrin under a complete lockdown a day after a horrendous bombing that claimed lives of dozens of civilians.

Brocar Press, a pro-opposition outlet, said units of the Turkish military and the Syrian National Army (SNA) blocked all the city’s entrances early on April 29.

“All the roads and crossings in the countryside of Idlib and Aleppo which lead to the area of Afrin and the city are completely closed on the orders and instructions of Turkish forces deployed in the area,” the outlet’s reporter said, adding “A major security alert in the city by Turkish forces and local factions.”

Several checkpoints were also established within the city by Turkish forces, which are carrying out a large-scale search operation.

On April 29 noon, a booby-trapped truck, loaded with oil barrels, exploded in a crowded marked in Afrin’s city center. As a result, a total of 42 people, including women and children, were killed and at least 61 others were injured.

Turkey held both the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) responsible for the attack. Meanwhile, local authorities in the southern Turkish province of Hatay said a suspect was arrested.

From its side, the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that Turkey, which occupied Afrin in 2018, is the side responsible for the attack.

Afrin witnessed a series of similar bombings over the last two years. These attacks will not likely end any time soon, as the area is loosely controlled by Turkey’s proxies. These proxy groups, like the SNA, are a hub for criminals and radicals in northern Syria.

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