At least 20 people were killed and many were injured on Thursday in a suicide attack by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists at the Atma refugee camp in Syria’s Idlib province, near the Turkish border, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
According to the report, the suicide attack took place during a Free Syrian Army (FSA) patrol shift change. People with severe injuries were transported to hospitals in Turkey.
“The people who carried out the attack in Syria have perpetrated a crime against humanity,” said Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, in the first reaction of the Turkish government.
ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack on social media. The camp is outside the area where the Turkish military and FSA members have been carrying out Operation Euphrates Shield against ISIL since Aug. 24.
Twenty-three ISIL terrorists and one Turkish soldier were killed during clashes in the Ziyara region of northern Syria, Anadolu reported on Wednesday.
According to the report three Turkish soldiers were also wounded during the clashes east of al-Rai, which was previously seized by FSA members supported by the Turkish military.
The number of Turkish soldiers killed during Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched on Aug. 24 by rebels allied with Turkey to clear the ISIL from Jarabulus and the border region, has now reached 11.
Rebels allied with Turkey on Sept. 4 declared that they had cleared terrorist ISIL elements from the last stretch of the Turkish border with Syria.
It was hallmark progress in Turkey’s bid to secure the 90-kilometer (55 miles) corridor and marks a significant step in Ankara’s plan to stop the expansion of Kurdish militias towards the west. With this, ISIL no longer controls any part of the border and has been removed from NATO’s southeastern frontier in an operation backed by Turkish tanks and troops.