Late on April 13, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) shot down a Turkish drone that was flying over their remaining territory south of occupied Afrin in northern Aleppo.
The drone, identified as a SERÇE-1, was shot down near the village of Bineh west of town Tell Rifaat. The SERÇE-1 was developed by Turkey’s defense giant ASELSAN for the Turkish military. The drone has a duration of 30 minutes with a 1 kg payload within a range of 3 to 5 km. The downed drone was equipped with an optical system.
Additional images. Drone guys please ID because I don’t recognize it. pic.twitter.com/pQ8ogabqpa
— Woofers (@N0tWoofers) April 13, 2021
The drone was scouting YPG positions near Tell Rifaat after a surprise withdrawal by Russian forces from the area. The forces have since returned.
A day after the incident, a second drone was shot down by the YPG near Tell Rifaat. The drone was reportedly dropping leaflets with a warning to the locals.
الطيران التركي يلقي مناشير ورقية في مدينة تل رفعت pic.twitter.com/Zqf8Pb1vBD
— Âla hacıoğlu 🌸🇹🇷 (@ala_hacioglu) April 14, 2021
“Whoever trusts the leaders of Qandil [the stronghold of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party] gangs is like someone who trusts water in the sieve, and what happened three years ago in Afrin is the clearest evidence of that.
Rise up against this gang that is lying to you, save yourself and your children, and leave the region, the signs of the near return of rights to their people are in front of you.
The true sons of the land will return to their area
Forewarned is forearmed,” the leaflets read.
The Turkish military and its proxies have been eyeing Tell Rifaat and its surroundings for several years now. From there, Kurdish forces launch attacks on a regular basis.
Despite the recent developments, a Turkish-led attack on the Kurdish-held area remains unlikely. Russian forces are still present there along with Syrian government troops and Iranian-backed factions.
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