Kurd Leader Says Rogue Elements May Be Behind Attack

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -

The leader of a Kurdish umbrella organization — which includes the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK — has said he does not know who is behind the suicide car bombing in Ankara that killed 28 people.

However, Cemil Bayik did not rule out the possibility that rogue Kurds, angered by Turkish military operations in the country’s southeast, may have been behind the attack Wednesday that targeted buses carrying military members.

Bayik told the pro-Kurdish Firat News: “We don’t know who carried out this act. But we know that previously such acts have been carried out in retaliation for massacres in Kurdistan. It is possible that those who did it will soon explain why they did it.”

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the attack was carried out by a Syrian who belongs to a Syrian Kurdish militia group, in collaboration with the outlawed PKK.

Turkey’s military has been conducting large-scale military operations against PKK-linked militants in the southeast, operations that it says has killed hundreds of militants. Human-rights groups have raised serious concerns over Turkey’s military operations, which have led to civilian deaths as well as displacing tens of thousands of people.

Earlier Thursday, a coalition of Arab and Kurdish groups in Syria condemned the bombing in the Turkish capital of Ankara that killed 28 people and wounded others.

The predominantly Kurdish Syria Democratic Forces has been a main force in fighting the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria.

The SDF statement was read Thursday by the coalition’s spokesman Talal Sillo and posted on their social media page.

SDF called upon the international community to intensify its efforts in fighting terrorism in order “to uproot it.”

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said earlier on Thursday that a Syrian national with links to Syrian Kurdish militia, YPG, carried out the suicide bombing in Ankara that targeted military personnel.