The Turkish government unleashed a barrage of drone strikes on various targets across North and East Syria early Thursday after Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan declared cross-border attacks on Kurdish-led territories legitimate.
The initial target of Turkish drones was a village in northwestern Hasakah (Hesekê). Just two hours later, a second strike was carried out, targeting a vehicle near the site of the initial assault. Local Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported casualties in the attacks.
Turkey continued its offensive in the following hours, targeting several key locations within the region.
A strategically vital dam in the town of Chel Agha (al-Jawadiyah) and the Washokani camp in the Hasakah countryside was not spared by the Turkish drones. The camp is currently home to around 16,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) who were forced to flee their hometown in the wake of Turkey’s 2019 military operation.
Other areas attacked include the town of Tirbe Spiyeh (al-Qahtaniya), situated to the east of the city of Qamishli, the village of Tel Habash in the town of Amuda, located in the northwest of the city, the village of Tawila, positioned in the outskirts of the town of Tel Tamr, and the town of Sirrin, located to the south of Kobani in northern Syria.
Turkey’s military escalation follows Foreign Minister Fidan’s ultimatum in response to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bombing of the Interior Ministry building in Ankara on 1 October, which injured two policemen. Fidan warned on Wednesday that all infrastructure and facilities of the PKK and the People’s Defence Units (YPG) in Iraq and Syria are now considered legitimate targets for the Turkish armed forces and intelligence services. He said the perpetrators of the bombing had traveled from Syria after receiving training there.
In response, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander Mazloum Abdi challenged Fidan’s narrative, denying allegations that the Ankara attackers passed through Syrian Kurdish territory. “We don’t take part in Turkey’s internal conflict, nor do we encourage escalation,” he insisted.
Turkish forces have already conducted record numbers of military operations in Kurdish-led northern Syria since 2022. Turkey argues that its cross-border air and ground operations fall within the right of self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, but international legal experts and human rights groups say that they are in violation of international law.