Car Bomb Kills 20 at Syria-Turkey Border Crossing

Crossing Controlled by Turkey-Backed Rebels

by Jason Ditz, October 13, 2016

At least 20 people, mostly rebels, were killed and dozens of others wounded today when a car bomb was detonated at the Bab al-Salama checkpoint, near the Syrian city of Azaz. The border crossing leads into Turkey, and is controlled by Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters.

There hasn’t yet been a claim of responsibility, but it is almost certainly an ISIS attack, as they previously targeted a crossing in a similar strike last week, and have been the main target of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria, giving Turkish-backed rebels large chunks of formerly ISIS territory.

Azaz has long been one of the biggest prizes on the Turkey-Syria border because it is a main border crossing, through which large amounts of rebels and arms entered Syria in the first place. Control over the crossing has generally entitled the rebel force in question to get a cut of weapons smuggled in.

ISIS has been vigorously trying to reverse their losses since Turkey’s invasion, launching numerous attacks trying to inflict high casualties both on the rebels and the Turkish military forces.

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