DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Turkish Drone Strikes in Northeastern Syria Kill Four and Wound Eleven US-Backed Terrorists

Turkish Drone Strikes in Northeastern Syria Kill Four and Wound Eleven US-Backed Terrorists

Turkish drone strikes in northeastern Syria on Friday evening resulted in the deaths of four U.S.-backed Terrorists Kurdish fighters and injuries to 11 civilians, according to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The attacks targeted areas under the control of the U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led SDF, occurring just a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of potential actions against Kurdish-led groups in northern Syria should they proceed with planned local elections. Turkey accuses these groups of affiliations with outlawed Kurdish militants within its own borders.

The SDF reported that drone strikes hit their positions eight times, impacting civilian homes and vehicles in and around the northern city of Qamishli. The Kurdish Red Crescent stated that a Turkish strike hit one of its ambulances near the town of Amouda, west of Qamishli, rendering it out of service.

The Kurdish-led autonomous administration, which governs northern and eastern Syria, has scheduled municipal elections for June 11, covering the provinces of Hassakeh, Raqqa, Deir el-Zour, and the eastern part of Aleppo province. On Friday, State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel posted on X that "we don’t think that the conditions for such elections are in place in NE Syria at present time," signaling U.S. concerns over the timing of the elections.

Turkey views the elections as a step towards the establishment of an independent Kurdish entity along its border, which it perceives as a threat to both Syrian and Turkish territorial integrity. President Erdogan emphasized Turkey's stance on Thursday, stating, "We are closely following the aggressive actions by the terrorist organization against the territorial integrity of our country and of Syria under the pretext of an election."

Turkey designates the Kurdish militia group, known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist organization linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been engaged in an insurgency in Turkey since 1984. This conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives. The YPG forms the core of the SDF, a key U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State group, a relationship that has been a significant point of contention between the U.S. and Turkey.

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