Explosion in Syrian Town on Turkish Border Kills 13

At least 13 people were killed and more than 30 injured in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad on Turkey’s border after a car bomb exploded in a market on Saturday, according to Turkish state media and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Tal Abyad is one of two major border towns that were the initial focus of Turkey’s cross-border assault in recent weeks to capture territory from Kurdish militia in northern Syria.

Turkey’s government blamed the People’s Protection Units — a militia known by its Kurdish initials, the Y.P.G. — and the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., for the “inhuman attack.” The Observatory said pro-Turkey fighters and civilians were among the dead and injured in the car explosion.

Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu Agency said 13 were killed after a “bomb-laden vehicle” exploded in a marketplace in the center of Tal Abyad.

The town is where some of the heaviest fighting has taken place since the Turkish military launched its incursion last month in northeast Syria against the Y.P.G., which for years was allied with the United States in the fight against the Islamic State.

“We condemn this inhuman attack of the bloody PKK/YPG terrorists who attacked the innocent civilians of Tal Abyad who returned to their homes and lands as a result of the Operation Peace Spring,” Turkey’s defense ministry said on Twitter.

A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes the Y.P.G., was not immediately available for comment.

The P.K.K., based in Turkey, is designated a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies. Ankara considers the Y.P.G. a terrorist group because of its ties to P.K.K. Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey.

On Friday, Turkish and Russian troops in armored vehicles held their first joint ground patrols in northeast Syria under a deal between the two countries that forced the Y.P.G. away from territory near Turkey’s border.

On Oct. 9, days after President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to pull out U.S. troops, Turkey and allied Syrian rebels launched a cross-border offensive and seized control of Tal Abyad and some 75 miles of land along the frontier.