Turkish forces, with participation from its affiliated National Army, as well as police, closed all entrances to the city of Afrin north of Aleppo on Wednesday after an explosion that killed dozens of civilians.
A correspondent for Brocar Press in rural Aleppo said that all roads and crossings from rural Idleb and Aleppo leading into the Afrin area and city had been completely closed on the orders of the Turkish forces stationed there.
The correspondent added that the city was under a major security alert by Turkish forces and local factions.
He said security barriers had been set up in the city since morning, and extensive security inspections were being conducted. The local market was also closed, and residents were forbidden to enter.
The toll of Tuesday’s bombing attack rose to 117 dead and wounded.
Dr. Ahmad Hajji Hassan, Director of Health in Afrin, said that the number of dead had reached 52 by Wednesday, with 65 wounded, most of whom were in critical condition. Workers had identified 19 of the bodies, while 23 remained unknown due major burns.
Hassan added that the bombing was the most horrific the liberated north has seen in a long time, as this number of victims had never before been recorded, and because of the degree of deformation to the dead and wounded. Fuel barrels that were inside the vehicle bomb contributed to the high temperature and rapid spread of the fire, causing the large number of civilian casualties.
The Turkish Defense Ministry blamed the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) for the explosion, noting that the attack was carried out with an oil tanker loaded with bombs.
The Syrian Democratic Council meanwhile condemned the attack, holding Turkey and its military factions in Afrin responsible for what it described as a “terrorist act.”
Afrin, which is under the control of Turkish forces and the Syrian National Army, has seen dozens of explosions in the form of IEDs, motorcycle bombs and car bombs claim hundreds of victims since the National Army took control of the city.
Residents of the city believe that the security situation is deteriorating rapidly as killings, kidnappings and explosions are on the rise, causing a large number of families to leave Afrin.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.