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Turkey Blames Syrian Kurds for Ankara Attack

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu today blamed Kurdish militants in Turkey and Syrian Kurdish fighters for the Ankara bombing that left some 28 people dead and 45 others wounded yesterday.

Davutoglu told media the attack was “carried out by members of the terrorist organisation in cooperation with a Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) member who infiltrated (Turkey) from Syria”.

Earlier today, the authorities claimed to have confirmed that the bomber was a Syrian national. Nine people have reportedly been detained in relation to the attack.

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The attack comes as Turkey is threatening the use of high-level force against Syrian Kurds who have taken over territory lost by Syrian rebels in the face of an advancement of Russian fire power and regime forces in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey.

The northern Syrian town of Azaz is the flashpoint for a wider conflict, with also threatening to destroy the Syrian Menagh air base if the Kurds refused to withdraw.

This morning, Turkish media claimed that the Syrian Kurds were preparing a “massive attack” in northern Syria.

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Turkey’s Anadolu Agency quoted a Syrian rebel commander as saying that the PYD’s “latest large-scale assault was just six kilometers (four miles) from the Turkish border.”

“The PYD has deployed just two kilometers from Azaz since Tuesday and today they have started to carry out their attack to seize the city,” the rebel commander reportedly said.

Meanwhile, Turkey is questioning the U.S. support of YPG, which is helping combat the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. Turkey’s concerns elicited a response from the U.S. State Department late on Wednesday, to the effect that the U.S. is not supporting those Syrian Kurds who are seizing territory in Aleppo province, around Azaz.

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"The YPG groups that we're supporting, there are various parts of the YPG on the ground in Syria. And the ones -- the groups that we're supporting are actually not the same groups," according to State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

"Obviously, they're part of the same organization, but not these ones who are taking territory in and around Aleppo ... the groups that we've been supporting through airstrikes, through various means, have actually continued to effectively fight ISIL on the ground in northern Syria," he said.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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