At least 60 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacker attacked Turkish-backed rebels just outside the Syrian town of Al-Bab on Friday. This comes as a blow to the rebels just hours after they hailed its capture from the Islamic State group. As per the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the bomber reportedly blew up a vehicle laden with explosives outside a rebel command centre in Susian village, approximately eight kilometres northeast of Al-Bab.
The explosion also devastated the twin command posts and also seriously injured a large number of fighters, the Britain-based monitoring group said. Most of the casualties were of fighters. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but reports suggest it had all the hallmarks of the Islamic State, which had put up fierce resistance in Al-Bab for weeks on end.
Al-Bab is a strategic town only 25 kilometres south of the Turkish border. It was jihadists’ last stronghold in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo. Turkey had sent its troops into Syria last year August in an operation it claimed targeted not only the Islamic State, but also US-backed Kurdish fighters whom it considers terrorists. With its support, the rebels launched an offensive to take Al-Bab last year.