On August 11, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that it had carried out three attacks on the Turkish military in response to recent artillery and drone strikes on its territory which claimed the lives of several of its members and at least seven civilians.
“Within the framework of the legitimate right of defense and in retaliation for the pure blood of our martyrs, our forces carried out on August 8 three qualitative and effective operations targeting the movements of the Turkish occupation military on the borders adjacent to the [Turkish] city of Mardin,” the Kurdish-led said in a statement.
The SDF’s attacks saw the destruction of three Turkish armored vehicles with anti-tank guided missiles. According to the group, 23 Turkish service members were killed and two others were wounded as a result of the attacks. These claims are yet to be verified.
The announcement came just a few hours after the Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF), a shadowy group that is said to be a proxy of the SDF, claimed responsibility for recent indirect fire attacks on Turkish bases in northern Syria.
The recent attacks by Kurdish forces failed to deter Turkey, who carried out several strikes on SDF-held areas after August 8.
On August 9, a Turkish drone strike on the town of al-Qamishli in the northern countryside of al-Hasakah claimed the lives of four fighters of the SDF. Later on August 10, a commander and a fighter of the SDF were killed along with a civilian when a Turkish drone targeted their vehicle near the town of Mala Sbat to the west of al-Qamishli.
The Turkish military and its proxies have been preparing to launch a new operation against the SDF for nearly two months now. Ankara could use the recent attacks by the SDF and the ALF as a pretext for its operation.