Syria | Turkish drone downed near US base – Ankara prepares new operations against Kurds – Photos
Andreas Pogiatzi
Published on 05/10/2023 at 13:41

A Turkish-made drone was downed by the US-led coalition in Syria today (05/10) near a base in northeastern Syria that hosts both coalition troops and Kurdish SDF forces.

According to the available visual material, it is an armed Anka-S unmanned aerial vehicle. The US-led coalition did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, but several observers said a US Air Force F-35A fighter jet shot down the Turkish UCAV.

According to Reuters, a Turkish Defence Ministry official said they had no such information.

Also read: USA | Strikes Islamic State leader in eastern Syria

A new invasion of Syria considered by Turkey

Turkish officials told Reuters a new ground operation in Syria is an option Turkey could consider after Ankara claims the two attackers who detonated bombs near government buildings at the weekend came from Syria.

“Our only goal is to eliminate the terrorist organizations that pose a threat to Turkey. A ground operation is one of the options to eliminate this threat, but it is not the only option for us,” the official said.

“The PKK and the YPG are the same terrorist organization, they are our legitimate target everywhere. Turkey has conducted operations whenever and wherever needed in the past, and those operations will continue if needed again,” the Defence Ministry official said.

“These operations are being conducted with self-defence rights under international law to eliminate terrorist attacks on Turkish soil and to ensure border security.”

Turkey has warned third-country forces to stay away from facilities controlled by the PKK and YPG.

“We call on all parties, especially our friendly and allied countries, to stay away from these terrorists. This is just a reminder. It is up to them to take the necessary precautions,” the official said, without naming any countries.

Two dead from Turkish strikes in northeastern Syria

Two people were killed today by a Turkish airstrike on a car in Kurdish-controlled northeastern Syria’s Hasaka district, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a source in local security forces said.

A spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Defence Forces (SDF) – which mostly consist of Kurds – confirmed that a car had been targeted, but did not say if there were any casualties.

In another strike, “Turkish drones targeted a factory north of Hasakah, injuring three workers,” said Farhad Sami, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Declaration of war

Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, claimed the perpetrators of the attack outside the Interior Ministry in Ankara had been trained in Syria and warned of retaliation against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria: “It has become clear that the two terrorists came from Syria and were trained there,” Fidan said in televised comments.

“From now on, all infrastructure, major facilities and energy facilities belonging to Kurdish armed groups in Iraq and Syria are legitimate targets for our security forces,” he added.

“I advise third parties to stay away from these facilities.”

SDF commander Mazloum Abdi denied on Wednesday that the two Ankara perpetrators “crossed our area”. “Turkey is looking for pretexts to legitimize its ongoing attacks in our region and launch a new military offensive,” he said. “Threatening to target infrastructure, economic resources and populated cities in the region is a war crime, something we have seen before.”

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), whose armed wing has led the fight against ISIL in northern Syria with US support, said on Thursday that “the statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister are a declaration of war”. The PYD called on the international coalition against ISIS to “take a stand” and stand by its side.

With information from: Reuters

Also read: Moscow | Meeting of Defence Ministers of Russia, Turkey, Iran and Syria





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