Early on May 19, two unidentified drones attacked an air base in the southern Turkish province of Diyarbakır, which is located near the border with Syria.
On Twitter, Turkey’s Interior Minister, Suleyman Soylu, claimed that the attack foiled. According to him, the drones were shot down.
“There is no damage whatsoever,” the minister said without providing any further details on the incident.
Local sources in Diyarbakır reported a number of explosions near the base. It is still unclear if the explosions were the result of a successful strike on the base or interceptions by Turkish air-defense means.
Huge explosion occurred at #Diyarbekir, #Turkey airport. Ambulances rush to the scene.— Ibrahim Muhammad (@IbrahimDSY1) May 18, 2021
According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense:
"At 12:30, a Turkish Air Force base in Diyarbakir state was attacked by two drones, the attack was foiled, and there were no casualties." pic.twitter.com/e9OAi4bqMB
No group has claimed responsibility for the drone attack, yet. The main suspect is the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which carried out similar attacks in the past.
In December of 2018, the PKK attacked targets in the southern Turkish province of Sirnak with seven armed drones. A modified variant of the X-UAV mini-Talon, a commercial drone, was used in the attack.
The drone attack on Diyarbakır Air Base may have been launched from Syria, Iraq or even from within Turkey’s territory. The attack is an example of the serious threats Turkey is facing today as a result of its growing military involvement in neighboring countries.