Car bomb kills two in Syrian town held by Turkish-backed rebels

DAMASCUS, Khalil Hamlo and Weedah Hamzah (dpa)- At least two people were killed on Wednesday by a car bombing in a town controlled by the Turkish forces and allied rebels in north-eastern Syria, a rebel spokesman said.
The bombing, the latest in a series of attacks in north-eastern Syria, took place in the city of Ras al-Ain, Youssef Hammoud, the spokesman for the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army told dpa.

A medical source at Ras al-Ain hospital told dpa that 12 people were also injured in the explosion.
Last month, at least 17 people were killed when a car bomb targeted a gathering of Turkish-backed rebels near a market west of Ras al-Ain. 
Syrian Kurdish militias were pushed out of parts of northern Syria in a massive offensive launched by Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies in October. 
Turkish forces and their allies have since advanced on 4,820 square kilometres of territory, wresting 13.1 per cent of the lands controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian government in the area from those forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor.
Two ceasefire deals, first with the United States and then with Russia, brought a pause to the fighting.
Ankara considers the Syrian Kurdish militias to be terrorists linked to separatist fighters in Turkey. 
Meanwhile, at least six people were killed and 40 others injured in Syrian government shelling and airstrikes on the countryside of Aleppo and Idlib provinces, the Observatory said.
The Britain-based group said that the shelling targeted a Turkish observation post in al-Sarman in the eastern countryside of Idlib.
Turkey has set up 12 observation posts in north-western Syria since a truce was reached in September between Moscow and Ankara to establish a demilitarized buffer zone in and around a key rebel enclave in Idlib.
Russia is a major military ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Idlib is a largely opposition-held province near the Turkish border.
On April 30, the Syrian government, supported by Russian air power, began a massive military offensive against rebels in the provinces of Hama and Idlib, forcing thousands of people to flee.
Government forces have since regained 66 areas in the southern section of Idlib and the northern countryside of Hama from rebels.

Thursday, December 5th 2019
Khalil Hamlo and Weedah Hamzah (dpa)

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