On November 8, Russian and Turkish forces held a third joint patrol in northeastern Syria, Russia’s Zvezda TV reported. The patrol reportedly covered the area of 105km and involved about 50 Turkish and Russian personnel as well as Typhoon, Tiger, BTR-80 and Kirpi armoured vehicles.
The Turkish Defense Ministry reported that the patrols were carried out between Qamishli and Derik cities, east of the Euphrates. The statement said that the patrols involved at least 4 armoured vehicles of the Turkish Army.
A Turkish military vehicle on patrol in northern Syria with Russian military police ran over a young man, killing him, according to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who said they are holding Russia responsible for the man’s “murder” within the so-called safe zone.
Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF’s press office, identified the young man as Sarkhuabun from the village of Til Jamal. He was run over by a Turkish armoured vehicle that was on patrol with Russian forces near Malikiya [Derik], a town about five kilometres from the Turkish border in the northeastern corner of Syria.
“We hold Russia, who claimed the region would be safer without the SDF and with joint patrols, responsible for this murder,” Bali tweeted.
Kurdish residents along the border have met the convoys with anger, hurling rocks and vegetables at the military vehicles. Footage of the patrol on Friday appeared to show men, women, and children pelting the armoured vehicles with stones.
Turkish forces responded with tear gas and injured 10 people, according to Bali.
Video shared by the Rojava Information Centre showed a young man clinging onto the side of an armoured vehicle. Later in the same video, the same man appears to be severely injured on the side of the road. The SDF-affiliated news-gathering agency identified the deceased man as 25-year-old Sarkhuabun Ali.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reportedthe death. He was one of “tens of civilians” in Malikiya protesting the Turkish forces by hurling stones, shoes, and vegetables at the convoy.
Turkey and Russia are yet to make a statement on the incident.
Qamishli is an ethnically mixed city, inhabited predominantly by Arabs, Assyrians,Kurds and Armenians, with Assyrians and Armenians making up a significant minority. The city is considered to be a Christian center in Syria. It was founded by Assyrian/Syriac refugees fleeing the Assyrian genocide in Anatolia. Today, Kurds, Assyrians, Arabs and Armenians (about 8,500, of whom 2,000 are Armenian Catholics live in the city.