US Deploys ‘Show of Force’ to Turkish-Backed Forces ‘Too Close’ to Troops – Report
The Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria which followed the announced withdrawal of US troops has led to a new pact between Kurdish-led and Syrian Republic forces, forming a bulwark on Syrian territory.
US military aircraft conducted a “show of force” in Syria after Turkish-backed fighters came in close proximity to American forces during a Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria, according to an anonymous US official speaking to Reuters on Tuesday.
The anonymous official said that the US military did not open fire but aircraft were directed over the area after troops still stationed in northeastern Syria felt Turkish-backed fighters were too close to them. The show of force by the aircraft saw the Turkish-backed fighters disperse.
The US official also said that US forces responded with a show of force using aircraft to demonstrate the forces were prepared to defend themselves, as well as communicated with the Turkish military through formal channels to protest the risk to US Forces. #Syria
— Hamdi (@HamdiAlkhshali) 15 Οκτωβρίου 2019
According to the BBC, the Pentagon said that F-15 fighter jets and Apache helicopter gunships had been deployed in the show of force towards the forces supported by Turkey, which is a fellow NATO member, who came close to US troops near the Syrian town of Ain Issa.
This comes as Russian special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said that clashes between Syrian and Turkish troops “would simply be unacceptable… and therefore we will not allow it, of course”.
The Russian envoy called Turkey’s incursion into Syrian territory “completely unacceptable” and said that Turkey has no right to permanently deploy troops in the country beyond the established “safe zone”.
President Donald Trump, who threatened sanctions against Turkey following the invasion, also phoned Turkish President Erdogan to demand a halt of the invasion of Syria and an immediate truce earlier on Tuesday.
This follows an agreement between the Syrian Arab Republic and Kurdish forces which has seen the Syrian army begin to return to northeast Syria and towards the border on Monday.
The Turkish advance broke out last week following the announcement by US President Trump that he would be removing US troops from the region, which critics say is tantamount to abandoning the Kurdish forces in Syria.