The Pentagon is warning NATO member Turkey towards a new navy operation in Syria, after strikes within the nation late final month endangered U.S. troops.
Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday spoke by cellphone together with his Turkish counterpart, conveying his “robust opposition” to a brand new Turkish navy operation in Syria, in response to a Pentagon readout on the decision.
Austin “expressed concern over escalating motion in northern Syria and Turkey, together with current airstrikes, a few of which straight threatened the security of U.S. personnel who’re working with native companions in Syria to defeat ISIS,” the readout mentioned.
“Secretary Austin known as for de-escalation, and shared the Division’s robust opposition to a brand new Turkish navy operation in Syria.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan final month launched airstrikes on northern Syria and Iraq concentrating on Kurdish teams within the two neighboring nations. Ankara claims the strikes are in retaliation for a Nov. 13 bombing in Istanbul that killed six folks and injured 80 extra, although the Kurdish teams have denied any involvement.
Erdoğan additionally advised on Nov. 23 that he additionally plans to order a floor invasion into northern Syria.
The U.S. has notably partnered with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) within the effort to defeat ISIS within the area and continues to work with the group to maintain the terrorist group at bay.
Because the Turkish strikes, the U.S. navy is working at a lowered variety of companion patrols with the SDF, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder advised reporters Thursday.
Ryder famous that whereas the U.S. acknowledges Turkey’s safety issues, “the main target right here is on stopping a destabilizing state of affairs, which might put ISIS in a capability to reconstitute.”
He added that the U.S. has frequent and open traces of communication with its Turkish allies “at a wide range of ranges.”
“We did situation an announcement highlighting the truth that a strike did come near U.S. personnel, and we clearly have communicated that,” he mentioned.