Turkey on Tuesday disclosed the secret position of US military bases and special forces in northern Syria, a move that the US says can endanger Coalition lives.
State-run news agency Anadolu reported that the U.S. has 10 military points in northern Syria to assist the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, in the fight against the Islamic State militant group (IS).
The news agency published a list revealing the U.S. presence in a distance more than 200 miles, from one end to the other of the Kurdish self-administration region.
The Anadolu news agency admitted that “the locations are hidden for security reasons” but went on to list the number of U.S. troops in several locations and claimed French special forces are also present in some parts.
It is highly peculiar and unacceptable for a NATO ally to reveal details of a U.S. military deployment during active operations in a war zone.
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly complained about America’s support of the Kurdish forces in Syria.
Washington has clarified that Kurds have been its most reliable ally in defeating the IS.
However, Turkey claims YPG forces are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a group that Turkey, U.S. and the EU have listed as an extremist organization.
The US and Syrian Kurdish forces deny the allegations and put defeating IS as their priority. The Turkish state has not back up its allegations with evidence.
In anger, Turkey has been shelling northern Syria on a daily basis, killing, wounding and displacing Kurds in northern Syria.
Kurdish forces, for their part, claim that what really angers Turkey is the defeat of IS, forces that Turkey has reportedly supported to curb Syrian president as well as Kurds, expanding its regional influence.
Col. Joe Scrocca, coalition director of public affairs told the Daily Beast, “Publishing this type of information [is] professionally irresponsible and…[could] put Coalition lives in jeopardy.”