On December 25, two Syrians were killed and seven others were wounded when a Turkish combat drone targeted a house located to the east of the town of Kobane in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo.
Kobane is a well-known stronghold of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which controls most of Syria’s northeastern region.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the victims of the Turkish drone strike were all members of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) Revolutionary Youth. The PYD is the leading party in the SDF political wing, the Syrian Democratic Council.
In a statement, the SDF’s executive wing, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, held both the US-led coalition and Russia responsible for the repeated Turkish violations of the de-escalation agreements on northeastern Syria.
“The strike comes within a series of terrorist attacks carried out by the Turkish occupation state and its mercenaries, amid silence from the guarantors of the ceasefire,” the statement reads.
On December 26, the SOHR reported that a second Turkish drone targeted a position of the Syrian Arab Army in the SDF-held town of Tell Rifaat in the northern countryside of Aleppo. These claims are yet to be verified.
Earlier this year, a series of Turkish drone strikes killed or wounded a number of fighters, commanders and officials of the SDF.
Turkey is likely attempting to provoke the SDF, which responded to similar drone strikes before. Ankara may later use the group’s reaction as a pretext to launch a military operation in northern and northeastern Syria. The Turkish military and its proxies have been reportedly preparing for such an operation for the last few months.