Turkish drone campaign continues in northeast Syria

Turkish drones targeted locations in Qamishlo on two consecutive days since Sunday, resulting in the deaths of at least three people.
A car was targeted on Monday evening in the Corniche neighborhood near Al-Farouq Mosque in the city of Qamishlo (Photo: ANHA)
A car was targeted on Monday evening in the Corniche neighborhood near Al-Farouq Mosque in the city of Qamishlo (Photo: ANHA)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on Monday evening reported that a Turkish drone targeted a vehicle in Qamishlo, killing one person, and injuring another. This is the second drone strike in Qamishlo in two days.

On Feb. 11th, a drone strike also targeted a location in Qamishlo, hitting the Federation of the Wounded People of North and East Syria, killing two members of the Kurdish Women's Protection Units (YPJ) Sorxwin Rojhilat and Azadi Derik.

SOHR reported that since early 2024, Turkey carried out 64 drone strikes in northeast Syria, killing at least 14 persons, injuring over 15.

Turkey also carried out large air campaigns in October, December and January, heavily damaging local infrastructure.

Read More: Four Asayish members killed by Turkish drone strike in Syria

On Feb. 2, also four members of the Syrian Kurdish Asayish were killed in a Turkish drone strike near Qamishli.

The most recent Pentagon's Lead Inspector General’s (IG) report on Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led campaign against ISIS, which covers the period from October 1 through December 31, 2023, also mentioned the Turkish strikes last year resulted in more tensions between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the U.S.

This in in part because Turkey and the United States are NATO allies, the report added.

"CJTF-OIR (U.S.-led Coalition against ISIS) said that given its potential to erode the relationship, this tension between U.S and SDF forces could result in threatening the safety of U.S. personnel working in Syria alongside SDF partners to defeat ISIS and maintain custody of ISIS-affiliated detainees," the report said.

"Additionally, continued strikes against the SDF in Syria will likely reduce their ability to conduct operations in support of the Coalition, CJTF-OIR said."

The report also said that the United States is “concerned about military activity in northern Syria, its impacts on the civilian population and infrastructure, and the impact of the effectiveness of our operations to ensure the lasting defeat” of ISIS.

Turkey considers both the People's Protection Units (YPG) and its parent organization, the SDF, as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) — which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States. 

On the other hand, the U.S. sees the YPG and SDF as distinct from the PKK and considers it a valuable ally in the fight against ISIS. The SDF and YPG have also denied being linked to the PKK.

Read More: Turkey should immediately stop targeting critical civilian infrastructure: HRW

Human Rights Watch on Friday called on Turkey to stop targeting critical civilian infrastructure.

As a result of the Turkish air campaigns, more than 1 million people in northern Syria have been cut off from electricity. Moreover, it caused critical shortages in diesel, kerosene, and cooking gas, and caused more inflation.