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3 Killed in Suspected Turkish Drone Attack in NE Syria 

A vehicle that was reportedly targeted in a drone attack in Qamishli, Syria, Nov. 9, 2021. (Zana Omer/VOA)

Turkey is being accused by Kurdish security forces of carrying out a drone attack Tuesday in northeastern Syria that killed three civilians in a car.

The strike took place in Qamishli, a city on the Syria-Turkey border that is controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The three victims were from the same family, according to a statement by SDF's internal security forces, which also said the attack was "carried out by a Turkish drone."

Turkey has not commented on the incident, but Kurdish forces say the Turkish military has increased targeted drone operations in northeastern Syria in recent months.

Map of Qamishli District, Northeast Syria
Map of Qamishli District, Northeast Syria

Turkey views the SDF and its main component, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as an extension of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a militant group labeled as terrorist by Washington and Ankara.

The United States, on the other hand, distinguishes between the two Kurdish groups. In the war against Islamic State, the SDF has been a key U.S. ally.

The reason for the strike on the civilian vehicle in Qamishli is unknown, although local sources claim the victims were tied to a high-ranking YPG commander.

Following a massive military assault against SDF members, Turkish military and allied Syrian militias have been in control of sections of northeastern Syria since October 2019.

Tensions between the SDF and Turkish-backed forces have increased in recent weeks. Turkish officials have also hinted at a potential push into Kurdish-controlled territory in northeastern Syria.

This story originated in VOA’s Kurdish service.