Turkey Leaks Secret Locations of US Troops in Syria as Tensions Rise Between Ankara, Washington


TEHRAN (FNA)- In a latest display of Turkish anger at US policy in Syria, the state news agency divulged the locations of 10 US military bases and outposts in Northern Syria where Washington is leading military operations against the ISIL group in its de facto capital of Raqqa.

Two US bases in Syria that are in Rmeilan in Northern Hasaka and in Kharab Ishq, near Kobani in Aleppo province already were well-known before the Anadolu news agency released their locations.

Anadolu said Rmeilan, in Syria’s oil-producing district, was set up in November 2016, and is big enough to handle transport aircraft, while the base South of Kobani, set up in March 2016, is used only by military helicopters.

The report disclosed that eight outposts, often hidden behind signs warning of a “prohibited area,” are being used both for active military operations, such as shelling into the city of Raqqa, and for desk jobs such as training and operational planning.

It claimed bases used for military operations house artillery batteries with high maneuverability, multi-barrel rocket launchers, various mobile equipment for intelligence, and armored vehicles for general patrols and security.

According to Turkish security officials in Hasaka province, the US has three outposts, all used to train Kurdish forces, as Anadolu even gave the number of US Special Forces troops it believed were stationed at two of the three outposts.

According to Anadolu, there are three US military outposts in Syria’s Raqqa province. French special forces troops are stationed at two of them. One of the locations serves as a communication center for the International Coalition fighting ISIL and is also used to disrupt group’s communications.

In Manbij, which the Kurdish fighters captured last August, the US now has two outposts. The US sends out patrols, the agency noted acerbically, to protect the Kurds from militants operating out of the Turkish controlled part of Syria known as the Jarabulus pocket.

Turkish security officials confirmed the accuracy of the Anadolu list to The Daily Beast.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared at the end of G20 summit in German city of Hamburg that Ankara will respond decisively to any threats on its borders, warning against any push by the Kurds to secure their own independent region.

Earlier, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had announced that Washington will continue to provide weapons to Syrian Kurdish fighters after the battle to oust Daesh militants from Raqqa is over.

Mattis’ comments came after Turkish officials disclosed that US Defense Secretary has reassured them by letter that arms given to the Syrian Kurds would be taken back and that Washington would provide Ankara with a regular list of arms give to the fighters.

In May, US President Donald Trump had approved arming of Kurdish militiamen in Syria with heavy armament, including mortars and machine guns, ahead of an attempt to drive ISIL from Raqqa.