Turkey has decided to knock the U.S. via its state news agency by leaking out secret details of U.S. troop locations in northern Syria.
Anadolu news agency published a list of 10 U.S. military installations in northern Syria and even included details about the number of troops in specific areas, which is a shocking move for a NATO ally, The Daily Beast reports.
Two of the bases were already known. Some other locations had previously leaked out through a news agency in Iran, but Turkey compiled all of the information and put it out on blast through Anadolu Tuesday via its English language site.
A spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve asked The Daily Beast not to publish base details from the Anadolu news agency.
The U.S., which is already operating in Syria without the permission of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has also faced ire from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over its support of a U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led fighting force, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. The SDF is comprised of a large number of fighters from the Kurdish YPG militia, which has apparent links to the PKK, otherwise known as the Kurdistan Workers Party.
For Turkey and the U.S. as well, the PKK is a terrorist group. The YPG first emerged as a Kurdish fighting force in 2004 and has battled ISIS since 2014.
Turkey’s National Security Council said Monday that weapons sent to the Kurdish YPG force in Syria had already ended up in the hands of the PKK.
Turkish officials revealed in late June that Secretary of Defense James Mattis apparently intends to take U.S.-provided weapons back from the SDF battling ISIS in Syria after the fight is finally finished.
“I want to believe that Turkey’s allies will side with us, not with terrorist organizations,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. “I hope this mistake will be reversed as soon as possible.”
What the Turkish officials revealed in June contradicted the express and public comments of the Pentagon.
Army Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said in May that any weapons sent to the Kurds would remain with the Kurds. Dorrian did say, however, that the U.S. would monitor usage of the weapons.
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