Turkish drone hits car in Syria's Kurdish-held northeast, casualties reported

QAMISHLI, Syria (Reuters) - A Turkish drone strike in Syria's Kurdish-controlled northeast on Wednesday killed the driver of a car and wounded a journalist traveling with him, according to the local media outlet for which they worked, a medical source and a security source.

Turkey's defense ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Thursday.

The media office of the Kurdish-led authorities in northeast Syria said late Wednesday that a Turkish drone "targeted a car carrying journalists". It did not mention casualties.

But the local Jin TV station said that the Turkish strike killed the outlet's hired driver and seriously injured a correspondent. One medical source and one security source in northeast Syria also said the driver was killed.

Turkey is fiercely opposed to the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and the Kurdish-led autonomous zone in Syria's northeast, accusing them of links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the United States and the European Union. YPG officials have said it operates separately from the PKK.

Turkey has used ground artillery and unmanned drones to target Kurdish militants. Local authorities in northeast Syria say the strikes have also targeted civilian officials.

That has caused tensions with the United States, which has allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spearheaded by the YPG, in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.

Syria is ranked 175 out of 180 on Reporters Without Borders' press freedom index, which has documented more than 270 reporters killed since the country's conflict began in 2011.

(Reporting by Orhan Qereman in Qamishli; Additional reporting by Ece Toksabay in Ankara; Writing by Maya Gebeily and Toby Chopra)