SDF commander Ferhad Dêrik martyred in Turkish drone attack

SDF commander Ferhad Dêrik lost his life as a result of a targeted drone attack by the Turkish state in Dêrik on Friday.

Ferhad Dêrik, a commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was martyred in a targeted attack by the Turkish state in Rojava. The drone attack took place on Friday morning in the town of Dêrik (Al-Malikiya) in north-eastern Syria, where the commander was a native. Ferhad Dêrik's house near Azadî Square, not far from the town centre, was bombed. A 39-year-old woman and an eleven-year-old boy were injured in the attack.

Brother also killed in targeted drone attack

Ferhad Dêrik was a senior member of the SDF. He coordinated the SDF’s cooperation with the international coalition against ISIS and headed the military office for foreign affairs in the eastern Syrian region of Deir ez-Zor. He belonged to the well-known Şiblî family based in Dêrik, which has always been deeply connected to the Kurdish liberation movement as well as the revolution of Rojava and sacrificed numerous martyrs. His twin brother Ferhad Şiblî, who was deputy chair of the Executive Council of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), was martyred in a targeted air strike by Turkey in Southern Kurdistan in 2022. His cousin Îsam Şiblî died defending the Yazidis in Shengal (Sinjar) in 2014, and another brother lost his life fighting ISIS in Rojava the same year. In October last year, Ferhad Dêrik survived a Turkish drone attack. He was on his way back from a memorial service for Hevrîn Xelef when his vehicle was bombed near Dêrik's Newroz refugee camp. Ibrahim Bassam Mikhail from the command of the Christian security force Sutoro died in the attack.

Ferhad Dêrik had been active in the defence of Rojava for more than a decade. He first joined the self-defence units "Yekinêyên Xweparastina Gel" (YXG), a mixed-gender fighting unit that was founded in 2011 shortly after the emergence of the "Arab Spring" in Syria. It was instrumental in setting up the first self-defence units in neighbourhoods and villages, as well as patrols in the streets, to defend themselves against jihadist militias such as Al-Nusra. When the YXG were restructured into the People's Defence Units (YPG) in 2012, he took his place in their ranks.

"Ferhad Dêrik was known for his humility, honesty and hard work. He was a great spirit and a great revolutionary; friendship, cooperativeness, connectedness, trust and community were the basis of his relations with fellow human beings and his actions. Ferhad Dêrik was like a torch whose fire never went out. He worked tirelessly day and night. He followed the path of revolution and did so for the freedom of his people," said the SDF statement about the death of the prominent commander.

He also fought for Yazidis in Shengal

Ferhad Dêrik also played a significant role in the fight against ISIS. He took part in almost all of the SDF’s major offensives against the terrorist group, which overran half of Syria and large parts of Iraq in 2014 in order to establish a "caliphate". He defended Rojava at the time in Til Koçer and Til Hemîs and later belonged to those units of the YPG and YPJ (Women's Defence Units) that, together with the PKK guerrillas in the Yazidi settlement area of Shengal, fought to clear an escape corridor through which hundreds of thousands of people were saved from the ISIS genocide in August 2014.

Resistance against war of aggression on Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî

Ferhad Dêrik also fought against ISIS in Til Birak, Hesekê and Til Temir, participated in the liberation of Raqqa and resisted the Turkish war of aggression of October 2019, at the end of which the cities of Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) and Girê Spî (Tal Abyad) were occupied by Turkey and its Islamist mercenaries. "Many times, comrade Ferhad was wounded at the front, but even the most severe injuries could not break his will. He always continued his struggle in the ranks of the resistance against the terrorists and occupiers, as he was committed to his promise to protect his people," said the SDF and expressed its condolences to the family of the commander and the people of North and East Syria.

The drone war of the Turkish state

In the autonomous region of northern and eastern Syria, people are repeatedly dying as a result of drone attacks perpetrated by Turkey in violation of international law. The attacks are aimed at representatives of the autonomous administration structures, members of combat units as well as the civilian population and are carried out by killer drones that travel unchallenged in the airspace of Syria controlled by the USA and Russia. The international community ignores this anti-Kurdish drone war by Turkey, which began in June 2020 with the murder of three representatives of the women's umbrella organisation Kongra Star in Kobanê. Since then, far more than 200 other drone strikes have taken place. One of these targeted attacks killed women's activist Remziye Altuğ in Qamishlo last Sunday. Killer drones were also used by the Turkish state during an air offensive between 4 and 10 October 2023 that led to the destruction of eighty per cent of the infrastructure of northern and eastern Syria. Nearly fifty people were also killed in the attacks, and dozens more suffered injuries, some of them seriously. Turkish drone terror also repeatedly claims lives in Southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

The identity information of the fallen SDF fighter is as follows:

Nom de Guerre: Ferhad Dêrik

First-Last Name: Şiblî Şiblî

Mother's Name: Xanim

Father's Name: Mihemed

Place and Date of Birth: Dêrik/1995

Place and Date of Martyrdım: Dêrik-27 October 2023