Turkish armed forces appear to have been the target of two attacks in as many days.
Military convoy struck
Security sources say at least six soldiers died and one was seriously wounded after an explosion rocked a military convoy this morning (February 18), near the predominantly Kurdish town of Diyarbakir, in the south east.
Meanwhile, nine people have been arrested following a deadly car bomb attack in the capital on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says Salih Naccar, a Syrian Kurdish YPG militia member, was responsible for the Ankara explosion, in which 27 of the 28 fatalities were soldiers. Dozens more were injured in the blast, which occurred when a vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses passed by, according to the governor’s office.
PYD denies responsibility
Davutoglu claims the Ankara bombing proves the YPG is a terrorist group. Last week, Turkey lashed out at the US for refusing to acknowledge the faction’s political wing — the PYD — as an extremist organisation.
The PYD’s leader has denied accusations that his group carried out the attack in the capital. Saleh Muslim claims instead that Turkey is trying to escalate the fighting in northern Syria.
“We are completely refuting that,” Saleh Muslim told Reuters news agency.
He also denied claims the YPG was firing into Turkey.
“I can assure you that not even one bullet is fired by YPG into Turkey,” said Muslim. “They don’t consider Turkey as an enemy.”
Kurdistan Workers’ Party
Following the blast, Turkish war planes bombed PKK Kurdistan Workers’ Party positions in Iraq.
Cemil Bayik, a top official in the outlawed militant organisation, which is based in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, had earlier said he had no knowledge of who was responsible for the Ankara attack.
However, he suggested the bombing could have been carried out in “retaliation for the massacres in Kurdistan.”