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Kurdish-led Syria forces say Turkish drone strike kills 2 fighters

Friday, 31 May, 2024 , 18:48

Beirut, May 31, 2024 (AFP) — Two fighters of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in northeastern Syria were killed in a Turkish drone attack on Friday, the US-backed forces said.

"Turkish drones... bombed two vehicles, including a car that intervened to assist the wounded, and a military post belonging to our forces in the Tal Hamis area" of Hasakeh province, an SDF statement said.

"Two of our fighters were martyred," added the force, the de facto army of the Kurdish administration that controls swathes of the northeast.

With US support, the SDF spearheaded the battle that dislodged Islamic State group jihadists from their last scraps of territory in Syria in 2019.

Britain-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said "a Turkish drone targeted a military vehicle and an ambulance" in Hasakeh province.

It said three SDF fighters had been killed, one of them a "commander".

The Turkish army, which has troops and proxies in northern Syria, regularly carries out strikes in Kurdish-held areas.

Turkey controls two large strips of territory along the border after expelling Kurdish forces in successive campaigns.

Ankara views the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which dominate the SDF, as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which it has outlawed as a "terrorist" group.

The civil war in Syria has killed more than half a million people since it erupted in 2011 after Damascus brutally cracked down on anti-government protests.