U.S. troops sent to northern Syrian border to protect Kurds from Turkish attacks


U.S. troops playing referee between allies on Syrian, Turkish boarder

The U.S. has reportedly sent troops to the border between Turkey and the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria, in an apparent response to a flurry of Turkish assaults on Kurdish targets.

According to Global Research, a convoy of armored vehicles with U.S. flags was spotted on a rural road in the village of Darbasiyah … a few hundred meters from the Turkish border in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province.

Friday, a commander of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) told Reuters he expected American troops to arrive on the border of the autonomous region to protect its inhabitants from shelling.

Tensions are up between the Turkish, the Peshmerga and the YPG and all three groups are crucial parts of the U.S.-backed attempt to liberate Raqqa, the largest ISIS-held city on Syrian soil.

This means American forces have been forced to intervene between its own allies, with Turkey being a member of NATO.

According to Global Research, the Pentagon is confirming media reports.

“We continue to urge all the parties involved to focus on the common enemy which is ISIS (Daesh),” Pentagon Spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters Friday.

Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes against Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria and Iraq’s Sinjar region Tuesday in an unprecedented bombardment of groups linked to the PKK, which is fighting an insurgency against Ankara in Turkey’s southeast.

Those attacks killed nearly 30 YPG fighters and officials, a monitoring group reported to Reuters.

Kurdish officials say American troops are there to serve as a buffer between Turkey and the Kurds. Ilham Ahmad, a senior Kurdish official, told the Associated Press U.S. troops began their patrols along the border on Thursday and have already conducted reconnaissance flights in the area.

Turkey launched a military operation codenamed Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016 to push back ISIS and the Kurds from its border, but ended the mission last month.

That operation saw a series of clashes between Free Syrian Army rebels backed by Turkey and Kurdish forces, who vowed to fight to the death to defend their territory.

Ankara defends its position saying all attacks are part of its military campaign against “terrorist havens” in Syria and Iraq are seeking to prevent a potential spillover of the conflict into Turkey, Global Research reports.

Global Research also says the U.S. and Turkey have been at odds over Ankara’s military action in Syria, which Washington says is mainly aimed at countering the rising influence of Kurdish fighters in the country.

Military Times reports pictures online appear to show U.S. armored vehicles displaying the American flag — a tactic used by the Rangers in Manbij to highlight American forces’ visible presence in the region.

One leg of the allied triad, YPG, expressed dismay last week — threating consequences for America’s inaction toward Turkish aggression.

“Our people are expecting a response from us on why the coalition is not showing Turkey a concrete reaction. If the coalition does not show a concrete reaction, then we will withdraw our forces from Raqqa,” she told a local Kurdish news outlet.

Reuters reports hundreds of U.S. troops are deployed on the ground in Syria to support the Raqqa offensive.

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Author

  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

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