Pentagon complains to Turkey over publication of US troop locations in Syria

Roof of Pentagon, aerial view.

The publication of the locations of the US military posts in Syria by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency has endangered the troops, and the United States has complained to Turkey, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency published a report on Tuesday naming the location of 10 US military posts in northern Syria, in some cases detailing the number of US and French troops present.

According to Reuters, US Minister of Defense and Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said: “”The release of sensitive military information exposes Coalition forces to unnecessary risk and has the potential to disrupt ongoing operations to defeat ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)].”

Expressing concerns of the US, Pahon added: “While we cannot independently verify the sources that contributed to this story, we would be very concerned if officials from a NATO ally would purposefully endanger our forces by releasing sensitive information.”

Tensions between Turkey and US have increased after US decision to support and arm the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria against ISIL.

A total of 195 trucks allegedly carrying military equipment for the PKK/PYD terror group were seen passing through Iraqi border and later arrived in the northeastern Syrian province of Al-Hasakah, reported the Anadolu news agency on Tuesday. The delivery was performed in two separate shipments; 95 trucks arrived in the city on July 13 while 100 trucks arrived on Tuesday, said the Anadolu.

Turkish Presidency spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said Turkey cannot ever accept US support for the YPG, which Turkey views as a branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Relations between Turkey and US were also strained when US prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Turkish security guards, who attacked protesters during a visit by Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in May. (SCF with July 20, 2017

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