Eight Killed, 30 Wounded in Overnight Market Blast in Northern Syria

Two children reported among the slain

An overnight car blast tore through a crowded marketplace in the rebel-held northern Syrian city of Azaz, killing at least eight people and wounding some 30 others. Two children were reported among the fatalities.

The market was unusually busy that night because of the holy month of Ramadan, and shoppers were flocking to the marketplace to buy clothing for their children for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr celebration.

As ambulances and rescue workers flocked to the scene, the crowd was in near panic, fearing a second explosion, as many bombing plots strike a second time during the chaos.

Azaz lies due north of Aleppo, near the Turkish border. The city is the seat of the current Syrian Interim Government, the self-proclaimed government. The city is occupied by pro-Turkey rebel factions, and police say they’ve tightened checkpoints in response to the attacks.

The local police reported no claim of responsibility, and they’re still investigating. They said immediate suspects are either ISIS or a Kurdish faction.

The bombing in Aleppo Province comes just two days after the deadliest Israeli attack in several years on the area around the Aleppo airport. This major attack killed at least 52, most of them Syrian soldiers.

Israel intercepted an apparent drone that approached Israeli airspace during the night. The target did not successfully infiltrate Israeli territory. It was not clear whose drone it was, but suspicion will almost certainly fall on Hezbollah.

Several years into the Syrian Civil War, rebels retain control over the far north, but whether the rebels are Turkish-backed or Islamist factions varies, depending on the area.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.