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Base housing US occupation troops, allied SDF militants in northeastern Syria comes under Turkish drone attack

A military base in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, where US occupation troops and their allied Kurdish-led militants affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are stationed, has come under attack by an armed unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the Turkish military.

“A joint base north of Hasakah used for planning and executing joint operations against the Daesh terrorist group has been hit by a Turkish drone,” a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Farhad Shami, told AFP news agency on Tuesday.

He added that two SDF fighters were killed in the aerial attack.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that the joint base had come under attack, but did not immediately report whether American occupation forces had been present at the time.

The development comes two days after Turkish military planes hit targets in northern Syria and Iraq, bombing bases Turkey’s Defense Ministry claimed were used by those behind an explosion in central Istanbul last weekend that killed six people and wounded more than 80 others.

“The hour of reckoning has come,” the Turkish ministry tweeted early on Sunday, along with a photo of a military plane taking off on a night-time operation.

It added that those who had perpetrated the “treacherous attacks” would be held accountable.

The ministry cited Turkey’s right to self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter in launching an operation it called Claw-Sword.

It said it was targeting areas “used as a base by terrorists in their attacks on our country.”

Turkey keeps up illegal strikes on N Syria; killing servicemen, civilians

Ankara has blamed the November 13 bomb attack at a bustling avenue in the heart of Istanbul on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group and its Syrian affiliate of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militant group, which is the backbone of the SDF. Kurdish forces have denied involvement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested that Ankara is planning to deploy ground forces to attack Kurdish forces stationed across the border in Syria.

“We have been bearing down on terrorists for a few days with our planes, cannons and guns,” Erdogan said in a speech on Tuesday.

“God willing, we will root out all of them as soon as possible, together with our tanks, our soldiers,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has said Russia respects Turkey’s “legitimate” security concerns over Syria, but stressed that all parties there should avoid steps that could worsen the situation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday that while there were disagreements between Russia and Turkey in their approach to Syria, Moscow understood Turkey’s security concerns.

“We understand and respect Turkey’s concerns about ensuring its own security. We believe this is Turkey’s legitimate right. At the same time, we call on all parties to refrain from steps that could lead to the destabilization of the overall situation,” he said.

Turkey has deployed forces in Syria in violation of the Arab country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria in October 2019 after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push YPG militants away from border areas.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials have said Damascus will respond through all legitimate means available to Turkey’s ongoing ground offensive.

Both Iran and Russia, which have been aiding Damascus in its anti-terror campaign, have warned Turkey against launching a new offensive.

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