A suspected Turkish drone strike in the north-eastern Syrian town of al-Malikiyah (Dêrîk) on Friday killed a senior Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander, Ferhad Dêrik (Şibilî).
Ferhad Dêrik was a key figure in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), serving as a coordinator between the SDF and the US-led Global Coalition against DAESH (ISIS).
According to reports from the Internal Security Forces of Northern and Eastern Syria (Asayihs), a Turkish drone struck a house in Azadi Square, located in the heart of al-Malikiyah. The drone strike not only claimed the life of the SDF commander, but also injured two civilians, a 39-year-old woman identified as Avin Khalil and an 11-year-old child named Ahmad Shahin.
In a statement issued after the incident, the SDF confirmed the loss of Commander Dêrik, who was visiting his family home, and condemned the attack by the Turkish military.
Dêrik came from a family with a long history of involvement in the Kurdish movement in Syria, with several members of his family having previously given their lives in the ongoing fight against various threats, including ISIS attacks in the region.
According to the SDF, the commander was celebrated for his dedication, humility and intelligence in his revolutionary work. Despite numerous challenges and attacks, he continued to carry out his duties with a strong commitment to the goals of the Rojava revolution, a social and political transformation that led to the establishment of a de facto autonomous administration in northeastern Syria, an area inhabited mainly by Kurds and other ethnic and religious groups.
Throughout his career, Dêrk took part in numerous military operations against ISIS and suffered multiple injuries.
“We will not hesitate to respond to the attacks,” the SDF said, stressing that the sacrifices of their martyrs would not be forgotten and that those responsible would be held accountable.