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This afternoon at about 1:45 p.m. local time there were at least two large explosions, believed to have been car bombs, in Reyhanlı, Turkey.

The second explosion happened several minutes after the first. I just saw a cell phone video of the second explosion and it seems to have been huge.

http://www.milliyet.tv/...

Twenty deaths were being reported and at least 46 wounded, several seriously.

The number of dead is now put at 40 with more than 100 wounded.

The death toll is now 42. More than 20 of those wounded are said to be in serious condition.

Sunday morning local time - the death toll is now 46 with 51 wounded still hospitalized, many of them in serious condition.

The explosions occured in the center of the town near city hall and many buildings have been very badly damaged.

Reyhanlı is east of Hatay, Turkey and right on the Turkish-Syrian border. The Syrian side of the border is under rebel control. Much of the humanitarian assistance sent to Syria goes through the border crossing which is very near Reyhanlı. There is also quite a lot of unofficial foot traffic back and forth across the border near Reyhanlı, and areas near Reyhanlı are believed to be some of the locations where weapons being sent to Syrian rebels are transported across the border.

No one has claimed responsibility.

- * - * - * - * - * - * - * -

Links to photographs and videos:

http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/...

http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/...

http://webtv.hurriyet.com.tr/...

http://video.cnnturk.com/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for calling attention to this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya, Pinto Pony

    It is deeply troubling, to see that conflict spread. There is so much 'political tinder' in the region...

  •  Erdogan pointing finger at Kurds? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya, chuckvw
    Turkish government comments on terrorist attack in Hatay
    ...
    Prime Minister Rajap Tayyip Erdogan announced that about 20 people died, 46 were injured during the incident: ‘At present, Hatay Governor and intelligence agencies in the region are investigating the case. I want to message to our brothers in Reyhanli. In connection with Kurdish issue our country has stepped into a new period named ‘solution process’. But unfortunately, those, who do not digest this new period, can resort to such terroristic acts. There are Syrian refugees in Hatay. We have to be very sensitive and careful. I wish recovery to all the injured. I hope, we will successfully pass this stage'.
    ...
    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has also made a statement. The minister noted that the persons trying to spread the Syrian chaos in Turkey would get their answers: ‘A number of provocations may occur. There are people, who want to destabilize Turkey
    ...
  •  The Free Syrian Army (FSA) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya

    The rebel faction that has outright support from Turkey, Kuwait, and the US was based in the town throughtout 2012, they have since moved the military HQ to Idlib. FSA still maintains a presence there.   Militia Forces loyal to Assad may be responsible.  

    The Islamic factions may be responsible, maybe a civil war within an insurrection is starting.  

    They are getting pushed out, and many FSA members are defecting to Al Nusra, who are better equipped, disciplined and thought to be less aligned with the west.  

    They have been quoted in the press as asking for support and arms from Israel, and stating that the Syrian people would appreciate Israel's support and talks about returning Golan could be defferred 20-30 years.

    The FSA is a rough bunch, accuse of Human Rights Violations.  It would take massive infusion of support to help them prevail, and fight a post Assad civil war with the Islamists.  

    This is an escalation regardless.  

    Lots of diplomatic chatter, Erdogan seems to want a key role.  

  •  Time to get urgent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya

    Moves on for a political solution before this escalates any further.    That's what the Syrians want.  None of the interested external parties will be happy, but neither can achieve their full national objectives without a long and bloody spasm of violence that will go on for years.  And might very likely evolve to a full scale regional or global conflict.  

  •  I've seen reports (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya

    that Turkish officials are trying to blame this on Syria/Assad and that Turkish troops are being sent to the area. Maybe an attempt to create a space for intervention?

    Link

    •  Or maybe it's a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya

      way to derail the recent US/Russia agreement to meet on Syria on the basis of the Geneva accord? I can't see an upside for the Syrian regime on this - a terrorist attack in a Turkish town across from a rebel-held checkpoint which is populated by its supporters? Doesn't make sense and I don't think that Assad or Syrian intelligence is playing 11th dimensional chess.

    •  The default government position is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fire bad tree pretty

      'the Syrian government did it'. So far it is the same for this bombing, but all the government statements contain phrases like 'we believe' or 'fairly certain' or 'but investigations are ongoing'.

      Reactions have been:

      -Why would they?

      -The identities of those killed haven't been determined. How did you determine the identities of those who did it?

      -If you had intelligence why didn't you stop the bombings?

      Right now I don't think that much if anything will happen intervention-wise, there is still just no public support for it.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:27:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Two points to clarify. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fire bad tree pretty

      The Interior Minister claims the bombings were by a Turkish group which he says 'are the usual suspects' and has connections to Syrian intelligence.

      The Turkish troops are reportedly being sent to the area to keep order and to protect the Syrian rebels and refugees in the area. There have been very negative reactions towards them.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:42:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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