Al-Qamishli (Syria): «Asharq Al-Awsat»
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the killing of nine of its members, including a senior commander who heads the Anti-Terrorism Units, as a result of two helicopters crashing while they were on their way to the Kurdistan region in neighboring Iraq.
The Washington-backed forces, which control large areas in north and northeastern Syria, said in a statement that the two helicopters crashed last Wednesday evening while they were transporting the group to the city of Sulaymaniyah “as a result of bad weather conditions,” which led to “the death of nine of our fighters, led by the commander of the anti-government forces.” Terrorism is Chervan Kobane.
Kobani, whose units fought battles against the terrorist organization “ISIS”, and managed to expel it from large areas in north and northeastern Syria, is the cousin of the commander of the “Syrian Democratic Forces”, Mazloum Abdi.
The statement came the day after the announcement by the authorities of the autonomous region in Iraq that only one helicopter had crashed, and at least five of its passengers were killed.
“The investigation is still ongoing by security officials to determine who the helicopter belongs to and the causes of the accident,” said the official responsible for communication with foreign media in the Kurdistan Regional Government, Lawk Ghafouri, to AFP.
He explained that some of the dead “are members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, according to the preliminary investigation.” However, a Source in the party, which Ankara and its Western allies describe as a “terrorist”, said that his party is “investigating” the matter, without confirming or denying that the dead belonged to the group.
According to the “Syrian Democratic Forces” statement, the group was on its way to the Kurdistan region in order to “exchange security and military expertise”, as part of efforts to “combat cells” of the terrorist organization “ISIS”.
The PKK is active in training camps and rear bases for them in northern Iraq, where Ankara, which has established military bases in the region for 25 years, has repeatedly launched air strikes and military operations targeting them.
Ankara also classifies the “Kurdish People’s Protection Units”, which is the backbone of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), as “terrorists”. It considers it an extension of the Labor Party, which has been waging war against it for decades.