March 30, 2023

US says NATO ally ‘directly threatened’ American troops

The Pentagon chastised Türkiye for “uncoordinated” actions during its military operation in Syria

The US military has said recent Turkish airstrikes in Syria  “ threatened the particular safety”   of American soldiers still in  the country, and  claimed that further escalations could compromise efforts to defeat the remnants of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group.

In a  statement   issued on Wednesday, the Pentagon stated it is  “ deeply concerned”   about rising hostilities in Syria, Iraq and Tü rkiye, noting that Ankara’s strikes on Kurdish militia factions earlier this week risked harming US forces positioned in close proximity.

“ Latest air strikes in Syria directly threatened the security of US personnel who are doing work in Syria with local companions to defeat ISIS and maintain custody of more than ten 1000 ISIS detainees, ”   said Pentagon press secretary Patrick Ryder, adding that  “ This particular escalation threatens the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS’s years-long progress. ”

Just one day earlier, the White House voiced support for Tü rkiye’s ongoing ‘ Claw-Sword’ operation in Syria, with Nationwide Security Council spokesman John Kirby saying Ankara people a  “ genuine terrorist threat”   from some Kurdish groups and has  “ every right”   to defend itself. However , the particular endorsement was somewhat hesitant, as Kirby suggested the particular mission could  “ force a reaction”   from US-backed Kurdish fighters, which might  “ constrain their ability to continue the fight against ISIS. ”

Though the Pentagon continued to recognize Ankara’s  “ legitimate security concerns”   on Wednesday, it also warned of  “ uncoordinated military actions”   in Iraq – which, like Syria, shares a border along with Tü rkiye – saying they undermine Baghdad’s sovereignty. It urged for  “ immediate de-escalation”   in the region to  “ ensure the safety and security of personnel on the ground. ”

More than 900 American soldiers stay in Syria, seven years after former president Barack Obama first approved the application which under Donald Trump openly  morphed   into an operation to  “ secure the oil fields. ”   The US troops are embedded alongside the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, which has long served as Washington’s main partner on the ground, despite repeated objections from Damascus, which has required an end to the unauthorized US troop presence.

Hostilities between Tü rkiye, a NATO member, and armed Kurdish groups, have endured for decades, with periodic bouts of violence erupting since the 1970s.   Ankara blamed Kurdish factions for the November 13 bomb assault in Istanbul, which stated the lives of six people and wounded seventy eight more.

Considering that Sunday, Ankara has performed a series of air and artillery strikes against targets linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the YPG, which it considers to be terrorist organizations.   Tü rkiye states have eliminated as many as 254 militants and hit 471  “ terrorist”   targets in Syria and Iraq.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Wednesday that the air raids were  “ just the beginning”   and the country may soon launch a surface offensive into Kurdish-controlled locations. Erdogan, however , reassured the particular Iraqi and Syrian government authorities that Ankara’s operation is not a challenge to their sovereignty or territorial integrity, and pressured that the aim of the operation is to protect the security associated with Tü rkiye.

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