Turkish air assaults on Syria threaten US personnel: Pentagon

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Turkey has stepped up air assaults on northern Syria because the November 13 Istanbul bombing.

Turkish air assaults in northern Syria threaten the protection of United States navy personnel and the escalating scenario is jeopardising years of progress in opposition to ISIL (ISIS) fighters, the Pentagon has stated.

The public feedback on Wednesday characterize the strongest condemnation by the US of NATO ally Turkey’s air operations in latest days in opposition to Kurdish-led YPG (People’s Protection Units) forces in northern Syria thus far.

“Recent air strikes in Syria directly threatened the safety of U.S. personnel who are working in Syria with local partners to defeat ISIS and maintain custody of more than ten thousand ISIS detainees,” the Pentagon’s spokesman, Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder, stated in a press release.

Ryder stated the escalating scenario threatened the progress made within the combat in opposition to ISIL fighters within the area.

He added that the US recognises Turkey’s “legitimate security concerns”.

“Immediate de-escalation is necessary in order to maintain focus on the defeat-ISIS mission and ensure the safety and security of personnel on the ground committed to the defeat-ISIS mission,” Ryder added.

The feedback from the US official come after Russia additionally warned in opposition to a Turkish floor operation in Syria.

The US has roughly 900 troopers in Syria, primarily within the northeast of the nation, who work with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is led by the YPG, to combat in opposition to ISIL remnants.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on Wednesday that Turkey’s air operations have been solely the start and that it will launch a land operation when handy after an escalation in retaliatory strikes.

Ankara launched air operations on the weekend in retaliation for an Istanbul bomb assault per week earlier that killed six individuals, and which it blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the YPG. Nobody has claimed accountability and the PKK and YPG have denied involvement.

Turkey has beforehand launched navy incursions in Syria in opposition to the YPG, concerning it as a wing of the outlawed PKK, which Turkey, the US and the European Union designate as a “terrorist” group.

The PKK and the YPG share shut ideological ties.

This shouldn’t be the primary time Turkey’s operations in northern Syria have threatened US personnel. In 2019, American troops within the space got here below artillery hearth from Turkish positions as Turkey waged an offensive in opposition to US-allied Kurdish fighters on the time.

Turkey has repeatedly complained to the US that help for the YPG-led SDF undermines Washington’s place on the PKK and its dedication to Turkey’s safety.

Erdogan maintains that Turkey will solely be capable to take away the menace from the PKK and the YPG by clearing the militias from the Turkey-Syria border and making a “safe zone” in northern Syria.

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