On June 28, Turkish combat drones carried out three airstrikes on areas held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern and northeastern Syria.
In the early morning hours, two drone strikes hit the village of Khana Sri in the northeastern al-Hasakah countryside. The strikes destroyed two vehicles.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that one of the vehicles was being used by the SDF, while the other was carrying civilian workers who were building fortifications for the group. According to unconfirmed reports, one person was killed and several others were wounded as a result of the two strikes.
Just a few hours later, a drone strike targeted a position of the SDF near the town of Tell Rifaat in the northern countryside of Aleppo. The strike caused some material losses. However, no casualties were reported.
The drone strikes came amid preparations by the Turkish military and its proxies to launch an operation against the SDF in northern and northeastern Syria.
Just a day before the strikes President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Turkish military will launch the operation as soon as the preparations are finalized.
“We will begin a new military operation in Syria as soon as our preparations are completed,” Erdogan told reporters after a cabinet meeting. “I would like to underline that the efforts to distract us from our goals are futile. Our cross-border operations are like our balanced and consistent attitude towards crises. We will start new operations”.
The main goal of the upcoming Turkish operation is to complete the creation of what Erdogan calls a “safe zone” in northern and northeastern Syria.
The recent drone strikes indicate that Turkey is serious about its intent to launch a new military operation against the SDF. The group has been making defensive preparations. However, this will not likely be enough to stop the Turkish military and its proxies. Kurdish leaders will have to secure support from Syrian government forces if they want to stage an effective defense.
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