YPG Claims Downing Turkish Bayraktar TB2 Armed Drone in Afrin

The press office of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has claimed that the Kurdish forces had shot down a Bayraktar TB2 armed drone in Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin.

According to the statement, the forces had struck the medium altitude and long-range (MALE) drone on Monday evening as it was on a reconnaissance mission over Qodeh village of Afrin.

The development came days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had signed on the body of a Bayraktar TB2 drone before being launched into Afrin.

The Turkish military said on Monday that a total of 1,369 terrorists had been killed since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin on January 20. The military added that Turkish airstrikes have also destroyed 15 YPG strongholds and weapons depots.

Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984. Erdogan has repeatedly said that Afrin should be cleared of “terrorists,” and demanded the deployment of Turkish troops there during a speech back in November 2016.

Bayraktar TB2

Bayraktar TB2 is a medium altitude and long-range (MALE) tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system manufactured by Baykar Makina, for the Turkish Armed Forces.

The tactical UAV has a range of more than 150km and can fly at a maximum altitude of 22,500ft. It has a maximum speed of 70kt and endurance of more than 20 hours.

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