SDF calls on coalition to stop Turkish drone attacks after senior female commanders killed

"Partners must make greater efforts to stop violations."
SDF Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
SDF Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi on Sunday called on partners to make greater efforts to stop Turkish drone attacks after three female fighters were killed in a Turkish drone strike on Friday.

The SDF on Thursday said that Turkish drones killed YAT (Counter-Terrorism Units) "commander Jian Tolhildan (Salwa Yusuf), the commander Roj Khabur, and our comrade Barin Botan, while they were on duty."

Abdi underlined that these "heroines took part in war against ISIS and rescued humanity."

"Turkey's targeting them undermines war against ISIS. Partners must make greater efforts to stop violations," he said.

The SDF said that the US-led coalition has a "responsibility for these brutal attacks on our regions."

In a tweet on Sunday, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) offered its condolences to the families "of these 3 SDF fighters, the people in Northeast Syria & our SDF partners."

CENTCOM also said Jian Tolhildan (Salwa) was the Deputy Commander of the SDF and "led forces in combat vs ISIS since the height of the fight to defeat the vile ideology in NE Syria in 2017."

Last week, Abdi also expressed his concerns over Turkish threats in a meeting with the Commander of CENTCOM, General Michael Kurilla.

Read More: SDF leader expresses concerns over Turkish threats to US CENTCOM chief

Since May, Turkey has threatened to launch an operation against the northern Syrian cities of Tal Rifaat and Manbij. However, major stakeholders in the Syrian conflict, including Russia and the US, oppose such plans.

Nevertheless, Turkey has continued to carry out drone strikes in northern Syria. Moreover, Turkish-backed groups have shelled areas under the SDF's control despite separate ceasefire agreements between Turkey and Russia and Turkey and the United States implemented in October 2019 to halt the fighting between Turkey and the SDF. 

Dozens of Kurdish parties and activists in Syria and abroad launched a new campaign this week to call for a no-fly zone over northeast Syria in response to renewed Turkish threats.

Sinam Mohamed, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) representative in Washington, tweeted that this will keep stability in northeast Syria and "protect our people."

Read More: No fly zone: the pillar of Iraqi Kurds' survival

A no-fly zone in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1991 implemented by the US, UK, and France protected the Iraqi Kurds from Saddam's regime. It resulted in the Kurds establishing their autonomous region and government. 

Calls by senior Syrian Kurdish officials over the years for a similar no-fly zone over northeast Syria have continued to be ignored by the international community.