ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A car bombing at a checkpoint in a Turkish-controlled area in northeastern Syria on Thursday killed at least two Turkish soldiers and two local security officers with the Syrian opposition, a Turkish official said.
It was the latest in a string of attacks in Turkish-controlled areas in this part of Syria. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.
A war-monitoring group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said however that the death toll was much higher, with at least 16 were killed, including four Turks, in the attack at the checkpoint in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn. The difference in the death tolls could not be immediately reconciled.
The governor’s office for the southern Turkish Sanliurfa province said two Turkish soldiers were killed and six were wounded in the Ras al-Ayn attack. The statement said two Syrian security officers from the Turkey-backed forces were also killed and two others were wounded.
Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition fighters captured the area last October, when Ankara invaded northeastern Syria to drive away Syrian Kurdish fighters from the border region. Ankara views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists for their links to a Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey.
A Kurdish-led administration controls much of northeast Syria, after driving Islamic State militants out of the area in partnership with the U.S.-led international coalition.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said the car bomb went off at the entrance of Ras al-Ayn at a checkpoint manned by the Turkish-backed fighters.