Blast kills 16 Turkey-backed rebels in northern Syria

A bomb blast at a Syria-Turkey border crossing killed at least 25 Turkish-backed rebel fighters and wounded dozens more on Thursday, witnesses and a monitoring group reported.

The blast took place on the Syrian side of the Atmeh crossing, west of Aleppo. A photo sent by a witness in the area, purportedly of its aftermath, showed the bloodied corpses lying on the ground.

Most of the rebels were from a group called Failaq al-Sham, witnesses said. Turkey is backing the rebels in an offensive against Islamic State further to the northeast, along a separate stretch of border.

The rebels use the Atmeh crossing to move between Idlib province, through Turkey, to areas of Aleppo province along the border where the fight against IS is taking place, the Observatory said.

Residents told Reuters they also use it to evacuate wounded fighters.

Ankara’s operation, dubbed “Euphrates Shield”, has also targeted Kurdish militants.


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