A car packed full of explosives blew up in a garage at the border crossing between Syria’s Aleppo Province and neighboring Turkish town of Kilis, killing 43 people and wounding scores of others.
The attack targeted a crossing in Bab al-Salaam, held by the Islamic Front faction. Turkish officials say that they believe al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was responsible for the bombing.
Which makes sense, because AQI and Islamic Front have been fighting over territory along the north of Syria for months now, and car bombings have been a popular strategy for AQI when they don’t have the manpower for a frontal assault.
Border crossings are considered particularly valuable for rebels of all stripes, as controlling them enables them to demand a portion of any arms and goods smuggled through to Syria. Bab al-Salaam has been hit several times before, including a February bombing that killed six, though none of the incidents were anywhere near as massive as today’s.