Source: the Hawar News Agency.
On July 23, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) acknowledged that two commanders and a fighter of its all-female force, the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), were killed in a Turkish drone strike that took place a day earlier.
The three YPJ members were traveling on a road near the town of al-Qamishli in the northern al-Hasakah countryside when their vehicle was targeted by a Turkish combat drone.
In a statement, the SDF identified the slain women as Salwa Yusuf, a commander of the YPJ’s Anti-Terror Units (YAT), Juanah Hisso, a field commander of the force, and YAT fighter Raha Bashar.
The new casualty brought to five the number of SDF fighters who were killed in Turkish drone strikes this week. On July 20, two fighters of the group were killed when a Turkish combat drone targeted their vehicle in the outskirts of the town of Kobane in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo.
The Syrian Democratic Forces is the official defence force of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. An alliance of forces formed during the Syrian civil war composed primarily of Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian/Syriac, as well as some smaller Armenian, Turkmen and Chechen forces.Wikipedia
Active:10 October 2015 – present
Ideology:Democracy, Decentralization, Secularism, Ethnic minority rights, Regionalism, Factions, Libertarian socialism, Tribal autonomy, Kurdish minority interests, Assyrian minority interests.
Allegiance:Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, Syrian Democratic Council… Wikipedia.
Turkish combat drones didn’t target the SDF only. Early on July 22, two drone strikes hit a position of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near the SDF-held village of Zour Mughar, which is located to the west of Kobane. The strikes caused some material losses only.
The recent drone strikes came amid preparations by the Turkish military and its proxies for a possible new operation against the SDF in northern and northeastern Syria.
Ankara is apparently using its drones to intimidate the SDF and the SAA, who will reportedly fight side by side to stop any new Turkish invasion. The SAA deployed large reinforcements in SDF-held areas in the last few weeks.
However, it remains unclear if any air-defense systems were deployed there to counter Turkish drones.