November 17, 2019 / 2:39 PM / a month ago

Turkish authorities capture Syria bomb attack suspect

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish authorities have captured a Syrian Kurdish YPG fighter suspected of a car bomb attack in the northern Syrian town of Al-Bab a day earlier, which killed 18 people and wounded 30 others, Turkey’s defence ministry said on Sunday.

The ministry said on Saturday that the car bomb was carried out by Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters in the northern Syrian border town of Al-Bab, which Turkish forces seized in a 2016 offensive.

Ankara views the YPG, the main component of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) waging a decades-long insurgency in Turkey.

“The perpetrator of the attack was caught after a successful operation by the National Intelligence Organisation,” Turkey’s defence ministry said on Twitter.

Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies have so far mounted three separate offensives in northern Syria against Islamic State and the YPG militia, seizing areas along its border. They launched another offensive against the YPG in northeastern Syria last month.

Turkey’s latest offensive was widely condemned by Ankara’s Western allies, who said the assault could hinder the fight against Islamic State in Syria. Turkey has dismissed the concerns, saying it will continue to combat Islamic State.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu, editing by Louise Heavens

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