Local forces in north Syria say Turkish drone attack injured civilian
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Local Kurdish-led forces in the northern Syrian city of Qamishlo claimed on Thursday that a Turkish drone strike that evening injured a civilian.
The General Command of local International Security Forces said the drone strike hit a fuel company in the Allaya neighborhood leading to property damage and the injury of a man who was transferred to a hospital for treatment.
“We in the Internal Security Forces for northeast Syria renew our call to the International Coalition and the Federal State of Russia, as they are the guarantors of the ceasefire, and to undertake their obligation, against repeated crimes committed with the aim to spread chaos and panic among the people.”
After Turkey intervened in northeastern Syria in October, Russia and the US reached separate ceasefire deals with Ankara that allowed Turkish troops to control the area between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain (Serikaniye).
Moreover, a few days after Turkey’s assault, Syrian Kurds reached another deal with Damascus, brokered by Russia, that resulted in the entry of Russian and Syrian forces into northern Syria.
Despite the agreements, Turkish-backed groups and the Turkish army itself continue to periodically target areas held by the SDF. In some cases, villagers living in Syrian-Turkish border areas were killed in attacks by the Turkish army and the rebel forces Ankara supports.
Ilham Ahmed, President of the Executive Committee of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), said in a tweet on Friday that the drone strikes demonstrate that Ankara is not committed to the agreements.
“Turkey continues to penetrate the airspace of north and east Syria, targeting activists in the area. It seems that Turkey is using drones as an alternative to attacks. This is how it gains international silence and kills whoever it wants,” she wrote. “This is a dangerous act and a violation of the (ceasefire) agreements with the Russians and the Americans.”
The last few months have also seen an increase in drone attacks.
In late June, three Kurdish women’s rights activists were killed in another alleged Turkish drone strike in the city of Kobani. Two weeks later, Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi and the top Russian military official in Syria met in an undisclosed location to discuss the deaths.
On July 16, the Internal Security Forces also blamed Turkey for targeting an outpost manned by Russian forces using a drone in the border town of Derbasiyah.
Four days later, another drone attack injured two people in Qamishlo.
A Pentagon Inspector General (IG) report covering the second quarter of 2020 (April 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020), recently said Turkish forces claimed to have captured or killed SDF fighters trying to enter the “zone of the incursion.”
However, the SDF said that Turkish assertions about them in the area were “unfounded,” and the group remained fully committed to its obligations under ceasefire agreements to remove its forces from those areas.
“The SDF said that nonetheless, Turkish forces have continued firing artillery and mortars into the region and Turkish-supported opposition forces continue to operate in those areas, sabotaging infrastructure and harming civilians,” the report read, though there was no mention Turkish drone strikes that have killed and injured civilians.
Editing by John J. Catherine