Turkey Warns US Troops In Northern Syria May Be Targeted By Its Army

Last week we reported  that days Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, the US predictably refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.

One week later, in the latest dramatic escalation between the two NATO members, Turkey's Deputy PM has warned that US troops fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish militias in the same uniform may be targeted by the Turkish army due to the difficulty of distinguishing them in the heat of battle, effectively stating that US troops in northern Syria are now "fair game" in the ongoing deadly conflict.

Speaking to CNN Turk on Sunday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said if US troops wear “terrorists’ clothes” and find themselves among “terrorists” of the Kurdish YPG forces attacking the Turkish troops, “there is no chance that we will make a distinction at this point.”

The unambiguous warning comes at a time when Turkish troops are making further advances into the Kurdish-held Syrian province of Afrin as part of the recently launched "Operation Olive Branch." As RT reports, Ankara had previously complained that the American troops’ embedding with Kurdish militias – regarded as terrorists in Turkey – is unacceptable for the US-Turkish alliance.

In the interview, Bozdag stressed that any person bearing weapons and fighting alongside the Kurds “is our target" however, he added that neither side wants open confrontation. Ankara has made it clear that US troops present in the area should stay away from where the Turks operate, and should not assist their Kurdish allies, he said.

“We are clearly saying that we do not want to confront our ally, the United States. I am sure that they do not want to face Turkey and Turkish armed forces,” Bozdag stated, although he also made it clear that a confrontation appears inevitable if the two sides continue on their present course.

Armed men identified as US special operations forces ride in the back of a pickup truck in northern Syria

Is Turkey accurate in warning that US soldiers can be mistaken for Kurdish rebels? Surprisingly - or maybe not - the answer is yes.

There have been numerous reports suggesting US Special Forces (SOF) teams use the insignia of Kurdish paramilitary groups. In May last year, an AFP photographer made a number of images showing armed men in uniform – identified by Syrian rebels as US SOF operators – in a pickup truck equipped with an Mk 19 grenade launcher.

Men in uniform identified by Syrian Democratic Forces as US special operations forces

The soldiers, sporting top-notch weapons and body armor, were wearing YPG badges. At the time, the Pentagon said “insignias and other identifying marks with their partner forces” were being worn in order to “blend in with the community."

* * *

The Turkish armed forces have been fighting the Kurds since January, when Ankara green-lighted a ground offensive in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, codenamed, with 100% irony, "Operation Olive Branch." Syrian rebel forces loyal to Turkey are spearheading the offensive, while the Turkish military provide close air support and heavy weapons.

The operation aims to drive Kurdish militias from the area, but it does not come without setbacks. Bozdag said 13 soldiers “died martyrs” during the offensive, while 39 others were injured. Meanwhile, the Turkish command says some 900 Kurdish fighters have been “neutralized” so far, the state news agency Anadolu reports.

Comments

IH8OBAMA wildbad Sun, 02/04/2018 - 14:08 Permalink

LOL  If Turkey attacks U.S. forces they won't do it a second time.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Putin has a nasty surprise for Turkish forces since they never got payback for Turkey shooting that Russian bomber out of the sky over Syria/Turkey.

 

In reply to by wildbad

Lost in translation researchfix Sun, 02/04/2018 - 15:02 Permalink

Kurds seem to be lighting up Turkish armor with results.

Are we to expect that these same Turks will take SpecOps forces to school?

I’ll believe it when I see it...

But more to the point, we really ought to disengage from the rest of the world - including and especially MENA - stop arming everyone in the region (that means YOU TOO, Israel), and gtfo.

In reply to by researchfix

Conscious Reviver . . . _ _ _ . . . Sun, 02/04/2018 - 20:17 Permalink

..--.., you are totally mixed up about this.

"Russia and US allies against Turkey.
Bwaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha..."

Like several other posters.

The Kurds and JUSA, in accordance with the intetests of Zino-stan and Oded Yinon, are trying to partition Syria. This is opposed by Syria (of course), Russia, Iran and Turkey. Russia, Syria or Iran going after the Kurds creates various problems. Turkey has the legitimate motivation to stop the existential threat posed to Turkey by the Kurd insurgency. In the meantime, the rest of the resistance to the Empire of Chaos is waiting, like the good cop to Turkey's bad cop, to welcome the Kurds back into the fold.

Cheers.

In reply to by . . . _ _ _ . . .

RTP Juggernaut x2 Sun, 02/04/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

probably since the desert bandits learned to use the Alphabet. They wrote and wrote until it came up in their favour: God ( our god) promised us, the Jews, to give us the land between the Nile and the Euphrates. Hitler really liked the Idea...happy to get rid of them. He did everything to establish tools and know how to create happy Kibbuz farms. The problem was; The Jews of Germany did not want to go to Palestine. But then the Zionists had an evil Idea how to blame Germany ....false flags against the German Jews.

A new GAZA WAR IS IN THE MAKE. Zionist agents in Gaza will fire rockets to Israel. Israel wants to demolish all resistance..Syria, Hisbollah, Iran...with the help of Amerika.

My Advise to Trump: If there is justice for the Amerikans....there must be also a justice for Israel and their fake history. The Hillary deep state plot is a peanut comparing with the Zionist creation of Israel. 

 

In reply to by Juggernaut x2

Stan522 Arnold Sun, 02/04/2018 - 14:11 Permalink

"Turkey's Deputy PM has warned that US troops fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish militias in the same uniform may be targeted by the Turkish army due to the difficulty of distinguishing them in the heat of battle"

 

I disagree, the Turk's will know it's American forces if fired upon because there would be an overwhelming response directed at them

In reply to by Arnold

Stan522 BarkingCat Sun, 02/04/2018 - 17:35 Permalink

Hey barking DICK... Why don't you pay more attention to world events... Trump put them there in 2017 and more have traveled. I know some of them stupid Fucking Lib...

 

http://abcnews.go.com/International/us-troops-syria-heres-theyre/story?…

 

Perhaps you should read other sources instead of just cherry picking a few ZH articles then somehow consider yourself informed.... because you ARE NOT.

In reply to by BarkingCat

Stan522 BarkingCat Sun, 02/04/2018 - 19:25 Permalink

and you are still an ignorant cock sucking MSNBC and Huff Post-indoctrinated, constitution-contemptuous, traitorous, racist, sexist, baby-butchering, sodomy-celebrating, marriage-devaluing, rights-from-government-not-from-God believing, 2nd Amendment-hating, innocents-murdering, criminal and domestic terrorist-empowering, illegal alien foreign invader enabling, societal-parasite-pandering Tyranny Party excrement-bagger's who smear the constitution, and the blood of those who died to defend it, with the pathogenic excreta of elitist fascist contempt drawn from their ever-present, power-and-control-greedy, liberty-hating, slavery-to-the-state-supporting, government-is-god, philosophical bag of egalitarian, neo-Marxist piece of feces... But you got that going for you....

In reply to by BarkingCat

TxExPat researchfix Mon, 02/05/2018 - 08:37 Permalink

Depends on if the US is willing to commit Air Support, (or maybe harder to track missile/artillery support).  It's not small arms fire from the embedded forces that would hurt the Turks, it's their target designator's.  (The Kurds supply the small arms fire/noise/general distraction, while the target designator's do their work on the Turks). 

Assuming that We ARE willing to supply fire support.  (Aircraft are very traceable, sorta hard to say who's artillery slammed the Armored Column...).

 

In reply to by researchfix