Suspected Turkish drone targets SDF leader Mazloum Abdi
A suspected Turkish drone strike in Northern Iraq on Friday has targeted General Mazloum Abdi, the Syrian Kurdish commander of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces,) an ally of the United States in the fight against the Islamic State, Wall Street Journal newspaper reported.
The strike occurred in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq, and three U.S. military personnel were in the convoy with Gen. Abdi at the time of the attack. Fortunately, there were no casualties.
Colonel Joe Buccino, a spokesperson for U.S. Central Command, confirmed the attack and said that the U.S. military is currently investigating.
“I can confirm that there was a strike on a convoy in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan Region. That convoy included U.S. military personnel. There were no casualties,” Buccino said in a statement.
The CENTCOM statement didn’t specifically mention Turkey or General Abdi. “We forcefully oppose any action that threatens the safety and security of U.S. personnel,” Col. Buccino said.
“U.S. forces remain in Iraq and Syria in support of local partner forces to achieve the enduring defeat of ISIS.”
Gen. Abdi is the commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is the main partner of the U.S. military in Syria in its fight against the Islamic State. The relationship between the two allies has been a close one, and a U.S. service member was reportedly in the same vehicle as Gen. Abdi at the time of the drone attack.
However, Turkey has long viewed Gen. Abdi's forces as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, a militant group that has carried out attacks in Turkey.