Middle East

Syrian forces shot down Turkish military drone in Hasakah

Syrian government forces have reportedly intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to Turkish military while flying in the skies over Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah and near the border with Turkey.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that government air defense forces shot down the drone as it was on a surveillance mission over Hamou village, which lies on the outskirts of the city of Qamishli and more than 680 kilometers (420 miles) northeast of the capital Damascus, late on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Syrian army soldiers had beefed up their deployment on the highway linking Hasakah to the northwestern city of Idlib, and marched into the villages of al-Kowzeliyah, Tal Laban and Um al-Kheir in the western countryside of Tal Tamr town amid the welcome of the public.

Turkish-backed militants abduct several civilians, including elderly men

Separately, Turkish-backed Takfiri militants have abducted several civilians, including elderly men, from the strategic border town of Ra’s al-Ayn and nearby villages.

The families of the abductees said their sons had been beaten up and tortured before being moved to a prison set up by terrorists in Haboub village.

On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push militants from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.

The announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.


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