US troops come under Turkish artillery fire in northeast Syria

This file photo taken on September 08, 2019 shows US troops walking past a Turkish military vehicle during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the village of al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad town along the border with Turkish troops in northeastern Syria.
This file photo taken on September 08, 2019 shows US troops walking past a Turkish military vehicle during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the village of al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad town along the border with Turkish troops in northeastern Syria.

A US military position in northern Syria has come under Turkish artillery fire, almost hitting the outpost where American troops were based in.

Turkish military forces launched an incursion firing artillery and air strikes into northeast Syria in a declared attempt to eliminate US-backed YPG militants.

“US troops in the vicinity of Kobani came under artillery fire from Turkish positions at approximately 9 p.m. local Oct. 11,” Navy Captain Navy Brook DeWalt, a Pentagon spokesperson, said in a statement on Friday.

DeWalt said explosions took place within a few hundred meters of a location where the Turkish forces knew US troops were present.

“All US troops are accounted for with no injuries,” DeWalt added.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley had warned the Turks of such incidents.

In a call with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar yesterday, Esper “reiterated his strong concern that, despite U.S. force protection measures, Turkey’s actions could harm U.S. personnel in Syria,” Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement earlier Friday.

Esper warned Turkey, which knows where the American troops are based, not to attack US military personnel in the incursion.

Earlier Friday, Milley described the measures that the Pentagon had taken as preventative measures to stop Turkey from accidentally firing on US troops.

“The Turkish military is fully aware, down to explicit grid coordinate details of the location of US forces and we have been in coordination with them,” Milley said.

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