Mysterious explosion rocks Manbij in Northern Syria, eight injured

Mysterious explosion rocks Manbij in Northern Syria, eight injured
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Tensions escalate as explosion in AANES-controlled city follows border crossing closure by Turkish authorities.

An explosion on Friday violently shook a building in the heart of Manbij, a northern Syrian city, leaving eight people wounded amidst rising tensions in the region. The incident was promptly reported by North Press, highlighting the ongoing unrest in areas controlled by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).

Manbij, which falls under the governance of the AANES, frequently faces shelling from Turkish forces and their allied Syrian armed opposition factions, known collectively as the Syrian National Army (SNA). These confrontations have historically resulted in both civilian casualties and significant property damage.

According to an on-the-ground source who spoke with North Press, the blast inflicted injuries on eight individuals and caused material destruction to the building and its vicinity. The exact cause of the explosion remains unknown. Still, the Manbij Military Council, affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), announced via Facebook that an investigation has been initiated to uncover the details of the incident.

In a related series of events, Turkish authorities implemented a shutdown of the al-Hamam border crossing, situated between Syria and Turkey near Afrin, on Saturday. The closure came in the aftermath of an assault on an older man by members of the Turkish-backed SNA near the crossing point.

Security personnel at al-Hamam informed North Press that the Turkish side had sealed off the gate, halting all pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The blockade will persist for several days, compelling people and trucks to reroute to the Bab al-Salama crossing in Azaz, located in Aleppo's northern countryside. Turkish officials also instructed border crossing staff to remain on-site until the completion of their investigation.

Meanwhile, the security landscape in Afrin's outskirts continues to be volatile. Early on Saturday, a militant from the Jaysh al-Sharqiya faction, part of the SNA, was reportedly killed by unknown assailants at a checkpoint near Jindires. The faction responded by intensifying its presence in the area, establishing numerous checkpoints and conducting thorough searches.

The northern Aleppo countryside, under SNA control, is no stranger to such acts of violence. Assassinations targeting both civilians and military members are becoming increasingly common, contributing to a growing atmosphere of insecurity and chaos in the region. The latest explosion in Manbij underscores the fragility of peace in northern Syria and the complex interplay of local and international forces at play.

*Photo: North Press