Syrian YPG militants target Turkish reconnaissance drone over Afrin
Islam Times - Militants from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have tracked and shot down a Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle in the skies over Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin as Ankara government pushes ahead with its cross-border offensive against the US-backed forces.
The YPG announced in a statement that the Kurdish forces had struck a Bayraktar TB2 medium altitude and long-range drone on Monday evening as it was on a reconnaissance mission over Qodeh village of Afrin, the Arabic service of Russia's Sputnik news agency reported.
The development came days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had signed the body of a Bayraktar TB2 drone before being launched into Afrin.
The Turkish military said on Monday that a total of 1,369 terrorists had been killed since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin on January 20.
The military added that Turkish airstrikes have also destroyed 15 YPG strongholds and weapons depots.
Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.
Erdogan has repeatedly said that Afrin should be cleared of “terrorists,” and demanded the deployment of Turkish troops there during a speech back in November 2016.
This is while US officials claim that the YPG is the most effective fighting force against Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in northern Syria, and have substantially increased their weaponry and technology support for the terrorist group.
The controversy over a possible Syria border force first started on January 14 when a report emerged on Reuters saying that the military coalition led by the United States in Syria was planning to set up a large border force of up to 30,000 personnel with the aid of its militia allies.
The Syrian government has already condemned the “brutal Turkish aggression” against Afrin, rejecting Ankara’s claim about having informed Damascus of the operation.
Damascus "strongly condemns the brutal Turkish aggression on Afrin, which is an inseparable part of Syrian territory," Syria’s official news agency, SANA, cited a Syrian Foreign Ministry source as saying on January 20.
“Syria completely denies claims by the Turkish regime that it was informed of this military operation,” the source added.
Story Code: 704464