Turkey has accused the European Union of not adopting the right stance against terrorism over its statement on a truck bombing that killed at least 40 people in northern Syria’s Kurdish-majority province of Afrin.
In a statement, the European External Action Service noted the incident as a terrorist attack, but did not mention the name of the organisation believed to have carried it out.
“Such intolerable acts of terrorism can never be justified. Those responsible must be held accountable,” the EU said.
The Turkish government has blamed the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish militia, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) – which Turkey says is a terrorist group linked to the PKK – for the truck bombing in Afrin.
Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish Presidency’s communications director, said on Twitter that the press release by the European Union’s diplomatic service harmed the fight against terrorism by not making clear who the perpetrators were.
“Despite all our warnings so far, those who supported and armed the YPG/PKK and tried to give it legitimacy and allowed the terrorist organisation to operate in their countries are among those primarily responsible for the massacre in Afrin,” he said.
However, Mazloum Kobani, the commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spearheaded by the YPG, and the Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the SDF, condemned the attack. The YPG did not claim responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres firmly denounced the bombing, and offered his “heartfelt” condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.
At least 40 civilians were killed, including 11 children, and nearly 50 others severely injured on Tuesday when a bomb-rigged fuel tanker exploded in the centre of Afrin close to Turkey’s border.