On August 20, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) acknowledged that a commander of its core unit, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), was killed in a Turkish drone strike on northeastern Syria that went unreported.
The commander, identified as Saladin al-Shihabi, was fatally wounded on the noon of August 19 when a Turkish combat drone targeted his SUV on the al-Qamishli-Amuda highway in the northern countryside of al-Hasakah.
Back then, the drone strike was falsely reported by news outlets linked to the SDF as an “attack with an improvised explosive device”. The Hawar News Agency claimed that a civilian was lightly wounded in the attack.
This was not the only Turkish drone strike to target northeastern Syria on August 19. A second strike destroyed a Military Coordination Center of the SDF near the town of Tell Tamer in the northern al-Hasakah countryside. A commander and three fighters of the group were killed in the strike.
In a statement, the SDF vowed to avenge the victims of both drone strikes while criticizing Russia and the US for ignoring Turkey’s violations in northeastern Syria.
“We in the SDF affirm our adherence to the memory of these precious martyrs … We will force the enemy to repent of its occupation and its hostility to our people. This is our promise to our dear martyr leaders and to all our martyrs,” the statement reads.
The SDF will likely respond in the upcoming few days, if not within hours. The group response may trigger a serious escalation with Turkish forces in northeastern Syria.
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