UPDATE WITH CASUALTIES
By Omer Koparan, Ethem Emre Ozcan, Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu and Erdal Turkoglu
AFRIN, Syria/HATAY, Turkey (AA) - At least two people were killed Tuesday in a terror blast in northwestern Syria, according to the governorship of Hatay, a Turkish province along the border with Syria.
An explosives-laden vehicle exploded in the city center of opposition-held Afrin, leaving 17 others injured, the governorship said in a statement.
Apart from casualties, property damage was reported, including the office of the Turkish humanitarian agency Humanitarian Relief Foundation, Anadolu Agency was informed from sources.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it was likely carried out by the YPG/PKK terror group.
Afrin was largely cleared of YPG/PKK terrorists in 2018 through Turkey’s anti-terror offensive Operation Olive Branch, but the terror group still has sleeping cells.
At least five civilians were killed and 18 injured earlier Tuesday when attackers detonated a vehicle in the al-Bab district of Aleppo province, according to Anadolu Agency reporters.
YPG/PKK terrorists continue to carry out attacks but do not claim responsibility when they harm civilians, according to local security sources.
The terror group, attacking from Syria's adjacent Tal Rifaat and Manbij regions, often targets Jarabulus, Azaz, Afrin and al-Bab.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU -- is responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian branch.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and to enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).
* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara.