An explosion in the centre of the town of Azaz, north of Aleppo, has resulted in the deaths of four residents and the wounding of several others.
According to the Free Syrian Police and Civil Defence personnel, the blast was caused by a car bomb which was intended to target and attack the city’s educational complex.
The car bomb exploded in front of the complex and it resulted in the partial destruction of the complex itself and the civilian houses surrounding it. Amongst the dead was an owner of the civilian houses.
While it has been estimated that four people have died and several others have been wounded in the attack, it is likely that the number of fatalities may still increase as time goes on.
The circumstances of this explosion are still unclear and it is still to be determined which group is responsible for the explosion.
Car bombings are not unusual in Azaz. On 7th January 2017, it was reported that at least 48 people were killed in a car bomb attack in the city. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the explosion (which was caused by a rigged fuel tanker) occurred near a busy market and in front of the Azaz courthouse.
Aziz, a city in northwestern Syria, is approximately 32 kilometres from Aleppo. Azaz is currently under the control of the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish authorities. Turkish authorities are especially weary about the possibility of having Kurdish forces based near their borders as they fear the impact they could have on the South of the Turkey, which is heavily populated by the Kurdish ethnic group.
The town has been heavily contested for its strategic importance as a supply route close to the Syrian-Turkish border. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are currently battling the FSA for control of the area.