Kurdish-led Syrian SDF denies involvement in Turkey bombing

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The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) denied Monday any role in a deadly bomb attack in central Istanbul that killed six people, which Turkey has blamed on Kurdish militants.

“Our forces have nothing to do with the Istanbul bombing,” said Mazloum Abdi, the chief commander of the US-allied SDF.

Turkey considers the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) -- the main component of the SDF -- an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Ankara has blamed the PKK, which has waged an insurgency in Turkey for decades, for carrying out the attack Sunday in Istanbul. The PKK also denied involvement in the attack.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

The SDF is the de facto army of the semi-autonomous Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria.

It provided crucial assistance to a US-led coalition against extremists of the ISIS group.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said “the order for the attack was given from Kobane,” referring to a Kurdish-held city in Syria near the Turkish border.

Turkey has launched waves of attacks on Syria since 2016 targeting Kurdish militias as well as ISIS extremists, and Ankara and forces backed by it have seized territory along the Syrian border.

Turkish police, quoted by Turkey's NTV television channel, said the main suspect in the bombing on Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue was a Syrian woman sent by Kurdish militants.

Forty-six people were detained in total, police said.

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Read more:

Turkey police say Syrian woman planted bomb that killed six in Istiklal street attack

Turkey blames Istanbul blast on Kurdish extremists; 22 held, including bomber

Six dead in Istanbul blast Erdogan says ‘smells like terrorism’

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