Turkey announced the elimination of Shibli Derik, a high-ranking commander of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) –the military branch of the Syrian Democratic Forces in northeastern Syria. This operation was conducted by Turkish intelligence.
Turkish state television (TRT) reported on Saturday that intelligence field agents were actively searching for Derik. Upon learning of his return to al-Malikiyah, they swiftly neutralized him.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) confirmed his death, indicating that the operation took place while he was visiting his family home.
Previously, the commander had launched an anti-tank missile attack on a Turkish police station in Sirnak in February 2022, resulting in the unfortunate death of soldier Tariq Tarkan, just 20 days before he was due to be discharged.
Anadolu Agency also noted that Derik had been taking extreme precautions due to the terrorist acts he had committed against Turkey. However, these measures could not prevent his ultimate demise.
Photographs depict Derik participating in joint exercises with the United States in northern and eastern Syria.
There were reports several weeks ago of his injury after his vehicle was targeted by Turkish drones near the city of Malikiyah.
Anadolu further indicated that he served as a brigade officer within the units, in addition to his involvement in joint exercises in the city of Malikiyah. The most recent exercise took place on September 7, 2022, involving US forces and approximately 250 members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
This operation, conducted by Turkish intelligence, is part of a series of missions aimed at targeting leaders of the YPG andSDF.
It follows Turkey’s aerial bombing campaign in SDF-controlled regions, launched in response to an attack that had rattled the capital, Ankara, a month prior and left policemen injured.
Ankara views the YPG and SDF in northern Syria as the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an organization listed on international terrorist registers.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently vowed to persist with military operations in northern and eastern Syria until “the last terrorist is eliminated.” He contended that the PKK operated under various names in Syria, including the Syrian Democratic Forces, and urged countries recognizing the PKK as a terrorist entity to include these affiliated structures in their lists.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.