By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - The US on Tuesday condemned a terrorist attack by the YPG/PKK in northwestern Syria that killed at least 40 civilians, including 11 children.
"The United States condemns the act of terror carried out today in Afrin, Syria, claiming the lives of dozens of people shopping in the central market as they prepared to break the Ramadan fast. Initial reports indicate many victims were civilians, including children," said State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus in a statement.
At least 47 others were wounded in the attack in the city center, which was carried out using a bomb-rigged fuel tanker, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a tweet.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Twitter that the US renews its call for support and implementation of a nationwide ceasefire in Syria after "today’s cowardly act of terror carried out on innocent victims in #Afrin."
"Such acts of evil are unacceptable from any side in this conflict,” he added.
Many buildings were damaged on Raju Street where the fuel tanker exploded, and medical personnel took the wounded to hospitals in the center of Afrin.
In January 2018, Turkey launched a major military operation – Operation Olive Branch – to rid Afrin of YPG/PKK terrorist elements, and liberated the city and province that March.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terrorist operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of locals: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.