A car bomb killed more than 40 people on Friday in a Syrian village held by rebels. Just after the jihadist group was driven from its last stronghold in the area. The blast in the village of Sousian hit a security checkpoint controlled by rebels fighting under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner.
Rebel groups from Turkey rebels drove Islamic State from the town of al-Bab on Thursday, following weeks of street battles near where Ankara wants to establish a safe zone for civilians. As the war monitor reported, 42 people at least.
One of the two, a fighter with the Sultan Murad Brigade near al-Bab, said: “It was done on a checkpoint but there were a lot of families there gathered and waiting to get back to al-Bab. Therefore we have many civilian casualties.”
The Islamic State took responsibility of the blast on a social media posting, having acknowledged on Thursday it had lost control of al-Bab.
Syria’s main conflict pits President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia, Iran and Shi’ite militias, against rebels that include groups supported by Turkey, the United States and Gulf monarchies. However, both those sides, as well as a group of militias led by Kurdish forces and supported by the U.S., are also fighting Islamic State, which holds large parts of northern and eastern Syria.