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US military convoy comes under fire from Turkish-backed militants in Syria, no casualties – Russian MoD

US military convoy comes under fire from Turkish-backed militants in Syria, no casualties – Russian MoD
A US military unit withdrawing from northern Syria and heading toward the Iraqi border has come under fire from the territory held by Turkish-backed militants, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said, citing the American side.

The convoy was traveling along the M4 motorway – which runs parallel to the Turkish border through land captured by Turkey during its anti-Kurdish Operation Peace Spring last month – when it was attacked near the town of Tell Tamer, the ministry reported on Sunday.

“As part of deconfliction exchange, information has been received from the US side that on November 3 a convoy of American servicemen... was fired upon from the territory controlled by the pro-Turkish Syrian National Army,” a statement from the ministry read.

Nobody was hurt in the incident, a US Central Command spokesperson confirmed in a statement to Sputnik. It said that the shell landed about one kilometer away from US forces and posed “no risk.”

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The reported exchange took place amid an American withdrawal from northern Syria, where US forces had fought alongside Kurdish militias against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal was heavily criticized for effectively green-lighting a Turkish military crackdown against the Kurds, who it considers terrorists.

Since the withdrawal was announced, not all US forces in Syria have packed up and headed for Iraq, as the convoy hit on Sunday apparently did. Some have been deployed elsewhere in the country to guard oilfields, keeping them in Kurdish – and American – hands.

President Trump explained his rationale for leaving some forces behind to pull guard duty on Friday, telling reporters “I like oil! We’re keeping the oil.”

Before a ceasefire halted Turkey’s northern Syria crackdown, the Pentagon reported American troops were shelled from Turkish positions last month. 

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