SOHR: SDF says Turkish drone kills civilian in Manbij
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Thursday said a civilian was killed in a Turkish drone attack in northern Syria.
“Today evening, at about 6:30 p.m., a Turkish UAV belonging to the Turkish occupation targeted a civilian car in the al-Kharoufia village in the southern countryside of Manbij city, causing severe injuries to the civilian Abdul Wahab Al-Muhammad Al-Hajj Hamidi, who was immediately taken to the hospital to be martyred later despite medical intervention,” read a statement from the Manbij Military Council and published by the SDF.
Manbij is a strategically located town at a crossroads connecting Aleppo, Raqqa, and the Kurdish-administered northeast. It is under the control of the Manbij Military Council, a local Kurdish-led force affiliated with the SDF. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has several times threatened a military operation against the town that was liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2016.
Turkey accuses the Syrian Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the SDF, of being the Syrian wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group struggling for Kurdish rights in Turkey and named a terror group by Ankara. The YPG denies the charge.
The SDF is the main ally of the US-led global coalition against ISIS in Rojava and has carried out several raids against the group in recent weeks, arresting several suspects, including senior leaders.
Ankara frequently targets SDF military bases and alleged vehicles with drones. According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey has carried out over a dozen aerial attacks against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria (Rojava) in the last five months, killing 11 fighters and five civilians.