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Kurdish Militants Blamed for Ankara Bomb
International

Kurdish Militants Blamed for Ankara Bomb

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed a Syrian Kurdish militia fighter working with Kurdish militants inside Turkey for a suicide car bombing that killed 28 people in the capital Ankara and he vowed retaliation in both Syria and Iraq.
A car laden with explosives detonated next to military buses as they waited at traffic lights near Turkey’s armed forces’ headquarters, parliament and government buildings in the administrative heart of Ankara late on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Davutoglu said the attack was clear evidence that YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia that has been supported by the United States in the fight against the self-styled Islamic State militant group in northern Syria, was a terrorist organization and that Turkey, a NATO member, expected cooperation from its allies in combating the group.
Within hours, Turkish warplanes bombed bases in northern Iraq of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state and which Davutoglu accused of collaborating in the car bombing.
Turkey’s armed forces also shelled YPG positions in northern Syria on Thursday, a security source said. Davutoglu said the artillery fire would continue and promised that those responsible for the Ankara attack would “pay the price”.
“Yesterday’s attack was directly targeting Turkey and the perpetrator is the YPG and the divisive terrorist organization PKK. All necessary measures will be taken against them,” Davutoglu said in a televised speech.
The co-leader of the YPG’s political wing denied that the affiliated YPG perpetrated the Ankara bombing and said Turkey was using the attack to justify an escalation in fighting in northern Syria.
“We are completely refuting that ... Davutoglu is preparing for something else because they are shelling us as you know for the past week,” Saleh Muslim told Reuters by telephone.
Turkey is getting dragged ever deeper into the war in neighboring Syria and is trying to contain some of the fiercest violence in decades in its predominantly Kurdish southeast.
The YPG militia, regarded by Ankara as a hostile insurgent force deeply linked to the PKK, has taken advantage in recent weeks of a major Syrian army offensive around the northern city of Aleppo, backed by Russian airstrikes, to seize ground from Syrian rebels near the Turkish border.
That has alarmed Turkey, which fears the advances will stoke Kurdish separatist ambitions at home. It has been bombarding YPG positions in an effort to stop them from taking the town of Azaz, the last stronghold of Turkish-backed Syrian rebels north of Aleppo before the Turkish frontier.
Hundreds of Syrian rebels with weapons and vehicles have reentered Syria from Turkey over the last week to reinforce insurgents fending off the Kurdish-led assault on Azaz, rebel sources said on Thursday.

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