ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Thursday published footage of a Turkish commercial drone that was shot down near the Syrian border in early January.
In early January, the Kurdish fighters posted a video on social media that showed the downing of a Turkish drone in Ein Diwar near the Syria-Turkey border.
A YPG statement on Thursday said the “unmanned aerial vehicle…was conducting surveillance within borders of Derik city of Jazira region during the first week of 2019.”
The Kurdish forces published the footage recovered from the drone on their social media account, which showed that the Turkish army was using the drone.
“Turkish soldiers started recording from inside their base, the footage recovered from the UAV (a commercial drone)” shows, the statement read.
The YPG said it would destroy any “military vehicle entering the areas under the control of our forces without permission,” adding that Turkey continues to attempt “to violate our borders.”
This is not the first time the YPG have shot down a Turkish drone. The Kurdish forces previously downed a Turkish drone in March 2017 and again in October 2018 in the Kurdish town of Kobani.
In November last year, the Turkish government announced it was planning to buy hundreds of drones for surveillance and security missions, Defense News reported.
Moreover, the Turkish Daily Sabah reported in August 2018, that the Turkish army had at least 58 armed drones that a local Turkish defense company produced.
The news website said the Turkish military used the drones during the Euphrates Shield Operation in northern Aleppo, Syria, in August 2016 and during Operation Olive Branch in Afrin which began in January 2018.
In February, during the Afrin offensive, the YPG said it shot down a Turkish drone. The Turkish army and Turkish-backed groups eventually occupied Afrin in March.
On Tuesday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara could launch a new operation in northern Syria “soon.”
He made a similar threat in December, warning that Turkey could launch an operation “within days.”
However, Kurdish sources suggest a Turkish offensive is unlikely while American military troops are still present in Syria.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany