News Alerts

24 Oct 2019 | 09:12 AM UTC

Syria: Car bombing reported in Tal Abyad October 24 /update 15

Syria News Alert

Four people wounded in car bombing in Tal Abyad October 24; heightened security expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/22/2019, 12:00 AM until 10/29/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Damascus). COUNTRY/REGION Syria, Tal Abyad

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Event

Media reports indicate that a car bombing has wounded at least four people in the northern town of Tal Abyad as of Thursday, October 24. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack comes after an agreement was reached on Tuesday, October 22, between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the establishment of a "safe zone" in northern Syria. Between Wednesday, October 23, and Monday, October 28, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will move in to facilitate the removal of Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) forces and weapons to beyond the zone, which extends 29 km (18 mi) beyond the Turkish-Syrian border. After the initial phase of the operation, Turkish and Russian troops will conduct joint patrols in northern Syria within 10 km (6 mi) of the border, beginning on Tuesday, October 29.

A heightened security presence is to be expected in Tal Abyad and in northeastern Syria over the near term. Further such attacks, as well as clashes between opposing security forces, are possible in the region over the coming days and weeks. 

Context

President Erdoğan announced on October 5 that Turkey would launch a military operation in northeastern Syria in an attempt to expel Kurdish (YPG) forces from the Syrian-Turkish border. Erdoğan stated that the air and ground operations would extend 30 km (19 mi) into Syria from Syria's northeastern border with Turkey. Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist organization linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) group in Turkey.

On October 14, an agreement was reached between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian government for Syrian government forces to deploy along the border with Turkey amid an ongoing Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria.

Following diplomatic talks between US Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on October 17, Turkey agreed to suspend military operations in northeastern Syria. The temporary ceasefire would last five days, allowing Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) forces to withdraw from the 32 km (20 mi)-wide "safe zone" along Syria's northeastern border with Turkey. On October 23, US President Donald Trump has declared the ceasefire permanent, and has announced the lifting of US sanctions against Turkey.

Advice

Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.

 

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