An Islamic State child soldier between the ages of 12 and 14 blew up a bomb at a Kurdish wedding party Saturday, killing 50 people and wounding nearly 70.
Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan told reporters the blast, “was the result of a suicide bomber who either detonated (the bomb) or others detonated it.”
Erdogan’s statement indicates ISIS fighters could have remotely detonated the bomb, mirroring a well-known jihadist tactic from the Iraq War. The blast occurred on the Turkish-Syrian border known as a ferrying point for foreign fighters to ISIS fighters.
The blast is likely retaliation by ISIS for the loss of one of its key cities on the Turkish-Syrian border. Pentagon-backed rebels seized the city of Manbij, a small town on the Turkish border, from ISIS earlier in August. ISIS used the town to ferry foreign fighters from Turkey to its wider territory in Iraq and Syria. The vast majority of the Pentagon backed rebels were composed of Kurdish YPG militants.
The wedding was for a member of the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, which has deep ties to Syrian Kurdish fighters who have battled ISIS for nearly five years. The bride and groom reportedly survived the blast, but a vast majority of the wedding party died.
In a national address Sunday, Erdogan told the nation, “It was clear that Daesh had such an organization in Gaziantep or was attempting to make room for itself in recent times. Many intensive operations were conducted, are being conducted. Of course our security forces will be conducting these operations with even greater intensity.”
Turkey has come under fire by the U.S. Anti-ISIS coalition for not taking all possible measures to seal its Syria-Turkish border. ISIS took advantage of the porous Syrian-Turkish border when they sent the team of terrorists who killed 42 people outside of Istanbul International Airport.
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