The Turkish government has blamed two Kurdish groups for a bomb attack in the country’s capital that killed 28 people, including one the United States considers an ally in the fight against the Islamic State.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Wednesday the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, worked with a wing of the Syria-based Democratic Union Party, or PYD, to carry out Wednesday’s attack.
At least 28 people were killed and 61 were injured when a car bomb detonated near military buses stopped at traffic lights in Ankara’s administrative hub. At least 20 of those killed were military personnel. Turkish leaders said they have identified the perpetrator of the attack as a Syrian national. The PYD and YPG denied any involvement in the attack.
Davutoğlu criticized the U.S. for supporting Kurdish militias in the mission against the Islamic State. The U.S. backs the PYD’s armed militia, the People’s Defense Units, or YPG, which is battling the Islamic State in Syria.
“We can’t excuse any NATO ally, including the U.S.” of having “links with a terrorist organization that strikes us in the heart of Turkey,” Davutoğlu said in a televised speech Wednesday.
Turkey considers the PYD and YPG affiliates of the PKK, which the government considers a terrorist organization. The Turkish government and the PKK, the Kurdish separatist group, have been locked in a decades-long armed conflict in the country’s southeast, punctuated only by a handful of failed cease-fires.