U.S. troops in Syria come below fireplace from Turkish positions

By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart | Reuters

WASHINGTON – U.S. troops in northern Syria got here below artillery fireplace from Turkish positions on Friday however none had been wounded, the Pentagon mentioned, an incident that highlights the dangers to U.S. troops as Turkey wages an offensive towards U.S.-allied Kurdish militia.

“The explosion occurred inside a couple of hundred meters of a location outdoors the Safety Mechanism zone and in an space recognized by the Turks to have U.S. forces current,” Navy Captain Brook DeWalt, a Pentagon spokesman, mentioned in a press release.

DeWalt mentioned that each one U.S. troops had been accounted for after the incident close to Kobane, Syria late on Friday.

U.S. troops haven’t withdrawn from Kobane, he mentioned.

Turkey’s Protection Ministry mentioned it had taken all measures to make sure that no U.S. base was broken whereas it responded to harassment fireplace that originated close to a U.S. base near Kobane.

“The firing was ceased on account of the problem being relayed to us by the U.S.,” the ministry mentioned in a press release.

U.S. forces have had a profitable partnership with Kurdish YPG militia in Syria to oust the Islamic State group.

“The U.S. calls for that Turkey keep away from actions that would lead to speedy defensive motion,” DeWalt mentioned.

Turkey’s Protection Ministry mentioned there was no firing on the U.S. remark put up, including that it fired in response to an assault on its navy posts south of the city of Suruc, throughout the border from Kobane.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Normal Mark Milley advised reporters on the Pentagon earlier on Friday that Turkey had been advised of U.S. positions in Syria, “right down to express grid coordinate element.”

High Pentagon officers confused the necessity for Turkey to keep away from doing something to hazard U.S. forces inside Syria, which numbered about 1,000 earlier than the incursion. Though U.S. troops had no intention of firing on Turkey, a NATO ally, the Pentagon famous that they had the fitting to defend themselves.

“Everyone seems to be absolutely conscious that we’re the US navy. We retain the fitting of self-defense,” Milley mentioned.

Turkey’s offensive started days after U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by cellphone on Sunday with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and ordered U.S. troops to be moved out of the best way.

U.S. navy officers denied accusations by lawmakers and coverage analysts that the Trump administration had deserted its allies. Turkey says its goal is to defeat the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as an enemy for its hyperlinks to insurgents in Turkey.