Dozens of people were killed as a result of bombings and clashes in different parts of Syria on Saturday, attacks that shook a fragile truce across the country.
A Daesh-linked car bomb killed at least 43 people, mostly civilians, and wounded many others in the rebel-held town of Azaz on the border with Turkey, according to local activists. The blast left a massive crater and 20 burned-out cars. Azaz is home to 200,000 internally displaced Syrians and some Iraqis.
Azaz is a major stronghold of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), an alliance of rebel groups whose fighters have, with Turkish military support, pushed Daesh militants out of the border area.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Daesh has targeted Azaz before. Daesh is not a party to the recent ceasefire between rebel troops and regime forces, brokered by Turkey and Russia at the end of last year.
The attack struck in front of an Islamic courthouse where a market is located, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said. The explosion was audible across the border in the Turkish town of Kilis, Turkey's privately-owned Dogan news agency said. Some of the victims are being treated in Turkish hospitals.
In a round-up of its military operations over the last 24 hours in support of rebels in northern Syria, the Turkish military said on Saturday that 21 Daesh fighters had been killed in clashes. Turkish warplanes destroyed buildings and vehicles in air strikes on 12 Daesh targets, according to Dogan.
Clashes in Wadi Barada kill nine
At least nine people, among them seven pro-regime soldiers, were killed in fighting near the Syrian capital Damascus overnight, the SOHR said on Saturday. It said fighting was continuing on Saturday in Wadi Barada, a rebel-held district northwest of Damascus that is home to the capital's main water source.
The monitor said the overnight fighting also wounded around 20 others, some of whom were in serious condition. Two civilians were also killed in the violence, the group said.
Water supplies to Damascus from Wadi Barada have been cut since December 22.
Coalition strikes cause their first civilian casualties of 2017
At least 11 civilians have been killed in US-led coalition air strikes in north and west of Raqqa city, Daesh's de facto capital, according to SOHR. It is the first such incident in 2017. The deadly air strike took place in Suwaydiya village. SOHR says that 467 civilians died in coalition air strikes in 2016.
TRT World 's Abubakr Al-Shamahi has more:
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