US accuses NATO partner Turkey of ‘direct threat’ to US troops — RT EN

24 Nov 2022 8:37 p.m

The US accuses Turkey of a “direct threat” to US troops in Syria. The Pentagon warned Ankara against “uncoordinated” actions as part of its military operation. The Turkish army recently carried out airstrikes against Kurdish positions in northern Syria.

The US Department of Defense has said recent Turkish airstrikes in Syria “endanger the security” of US soldiers still in the country. Further escalations could therefore undermine efforts to combat the remnants of the terrorist group “Islamic State” (IS, formerly ISIS).

In a published on Wednesday Explanation The Pentagon said it was “deeply concerned” by escalating hostilities in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. It was noted that Ankara’s attacks on Kurdish militias, carried out earlier this week, could endanger US forces stationed in the immediate vicinity. Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder stated:

“The recent airstrikes in Syria directly threaten the security of US personnel working in Syria with local partners to defeat ISIS and hold more than ten thousand ISIS prisoners in custody.”

He added that this escalation threatens “the global coalition’s years of progress in the fight against ISIS.”

Just a day earlier, the White House had voiced support for Turkey’s ongoing operation in Syria, dubbed “Sword Claw.” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Ankara faces a “terrorist threat” from some Kurdish groups and has “every right to defend itself”. However, the endorsement was somewhat tentative, as Kirby hinted that Ankara’s operation could “force US-backed Kurdish fighters into a response” that could “limit their ability to continue the fight against ISIS.”

While continuing to acknowledge Ankara’s “legitimate security concerns” on Wednesday, the Pentagon also warned of “uncoordinated military action” in Iraq – which shares a border with Turkey like Syria – and said it would undermine Baghdad’s sovereignty. The US urged an “immediate de-escalation” in the region to “ensure the safety of personnel on the ground.”

Over 900 US troops remain in Syria, seven years after former US President Barack Obama authorized a deployment to fight ISIS. Under his successor Donald Trump, he openly agreed to an operation to “Protection of the oil fieldsThe US troops are embedded in the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, which has long been Washington’s key partner on the ground, despite repeated objections from Damascus, which has called for an end to the unauthorized US troop presence.

Hostilities between NATO member Turkey and armed Kurdish groups have lasted for decades. There have been repeated outbreaks of violence since the 1970s. Ankara recently had Kurdish groups for the November 13 bombing in Istanbul, in which six people were killed and 81 others injured.

Since Sunday, the Turkish army has been conducting a series of air and artillery strikes against targets in northern Syria and northern Iraq linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry. Ankara claims that YPG As a Syrian offshoot, I work closely with the PKK, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. Turkey claims to have “neutralized” up to 254 militants and hit 471 “terrorist” targets in Syria and Iraq.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned on Wednesday that the airstrikes are “just the beginning” and the country could soon launch a ground offensive in the Kurdish-controlled areas. However, Erdoğan assured the Iraqi and Syrian governments that Ankara’s operation was not a questioning of their sovereignty or territorial integrity, while stressing that the aim of the military operation was to protect Turkey’s security.

More on the subject – Airstrikes by the Turkish army in Syria: Kurdish militias warn of “major disaster”

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