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11 Oct, 2019 23:26

US troops came under artillery fire from Turkish positions in Syria - Pentagon

US troops came under artillery fire from Turkish positions in Syria - Pentagon

American troops stationed in northern Syria came under artillery fire from nearby Turkish positions, the Pentagon has confirmed. There were no injuries.

Following earlier media reports of explosions near the town of Kobani, the Pentagon said US troops "came under artillery fire from Turkish positions at approximately 9 p.m. local Oct. 11” and that the explosions occurred " tin an area known by the Turks to have US forces present.” 

The American soldiers were not withdrawn from the town, the statement noted, adding that Washington “remains opposed to the Turkish military move into Syria.”

The US demands that Turkey avoid actions that could result in immediate defensive action.

Later on Friday night, the Associated Press reported an American outpost was abandoned after the shelling, citing US officials, but noted that a larger base in Kobani had not been evacuated or affected by the strike. The outpost would likely soon be reoccupied, the officials added.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said the strike was in response to mortar fire from Kurdish militias, which it dubbed “terrorists,” adding Turkey was not targeting the US troops in the area and that precautions were taken to avoid direct hits on US positions.

Also on rt.com Explosion reported near US outpost in Syria, amid speculation Turkey accidentally shells US special forces

Ankara is in the middle of an operation in northern Syria to clear away pockets of Kurdish fighters it deems a threat, and to establish a “safe zone” along the Syrian-Turkish border, where it hopes to resettle millions of refugees who fled to Turkey during Syria’s civil war.

US troops have been embedded with Kurdish fighters in Syria for several years – expressly against the wishes of Damascus – where the militias led a number of operations against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) backed by American airpower. Troop levels have diminished in recent years to around 1,000, most stationed in the north, near the Turkish border.

Critics slammed a recent US “withdrawal” from Syria, arguing Washington “abandoned” its Kurdish allies, however the move only involved around 50 soldiers, who merely pulled back to a larger base.

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