Turkey announces “neutralization” of PKK leader in northeast Syria

A Turkish tank performs artillery strikes during military training - February 25, 2024 (Turkish Ministry of Defense)

A Turkish tank performs artillery strikes during military training - February 25, 2024 (Turkish Ministry of Defense)


Turkish intelligence claimed that they “neutralized” Amina Sayid Ahmad, a leader in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), in the city of Qamishli in northeast Syria, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency citing unnamed security sources.

The agency reported that the Turkish National Intelligence Organization “neutralized” Amina Sayid Ahmad, also known by her nom de guerre “Azadi Derik,” a Syrian national, during a security operation carried out in the city of Qamishli, northern al-Hasakah province.

The Turkish agency also pointed out that Sayid Ahmad was “neutralized” in a field targeting operation in Qamishli.

Turkish intelligence uses the term “neutralized” to refer to killing, injuring, or arresting individuals from organizations classified as “terrorist” on its list.

Anadolu Agency claimed that Sayid Ahmad joined the organization in 2011 and that Turkey began to pursue her after planning operations against Turkish security forces were uncovered.

The agency added, quoting sources, that Amina Sayid Ahmad was responsible for “securing and utilizing missiles” and that she commanded rocket attacks against Turkish security forces in Afrin, launched from the city of Tel Rifaat, north of Aleppo.

The agency also revealed that Sayid Ahmad had ordered the launch of rocket attacks targeting the city of Kilis in southern Turkey.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) mourned the same female fighter from the People’s Protection Units on February 20 but said her name was Surkhwin, noting that she was killed in a Turkish airstrike that targeted the “house of the wounded” in Qamishli.

The most recent targeting claimed by Turkey in Syria was on February 25, when the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced that its armed forces killed two members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the YPG who were preparing to attack Turkish influence areas north of Aleppo.

Turkish forces repeatedly target individuals and leaders of parties Ankara classifies as “terrorist” in areas under the control of the SDF in northern Syria.

In a press meeting held by the Turkish Ministry of Defense’s press and public relations advisor, Zeki Ataturk, on February 15, he said that Turkish forces had “neutralized” 398 “terrorists” since January 1, 247 of whom were in northern Syria and the rest in northern Iraq.

Turkey classifies the Kurdistan Workers’ Party as a “terrorist” entity, and the party is also listed as “terrorist” by the United States, the European Union, and several European countries.

Turkey considers the SDF an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a claim denied by the SDF, despite acknowledging the presence of fighters from the party under its banner and their occupying leadership positions.


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