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Turkey conducts drone strike against Kurdish forces in Syria

Turkey is escalating its attacks on the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Meanwhile, another Islamic State leader has been confirmed dead in the country.
Turkey drone

Turkey carried out a drone strike against Kurdish-led forces in Syria on Thursday night, further escalating the conflict in the country.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the “Turkish occupation” struck a vehicle carrying six SDF members en route to the village of Harmi Sheikho, near the city of Qamishli in northeast Syria. Four fighters were killed, while another two were injured, the SDF said in a press release on Friday.

Turkey’s National Defense Ministry also said on Friday that it “neutralized” five “terrorists” belonging to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in an unspecified part of northern Syria, the official Anadol Agency reported.

The YPG is a Kurdish armed group that leads the SDF. Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed PKK, though the SDF denies this.

Why it matters: Turkey’s attacks on the SDF have escalated in recent months. Despite the uptick in violence, the United States and Russia have remained silent on the issue, Al-Monitor’s Amberin Zaman reported last month.

The US supports the SDF in its fight against the Islamic State, while Russia backs the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Know more: The SDF defeated IS territorially in 2019, but the latter remains active in Syria. The Islamic State (IS) attacked a Syrian military convoy on Monday.

On Thursday, IS confirmed the death of its leader Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi. IS said that Quraishi was killed in clashes with the Syrian Islamist rebel group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Turkey claimed in April that its forces had killed the IS leader.

IS named Abi Hafsan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as its new leader, Agence France-Presse reported.

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