The United States forces destroyed an armed Turkish drone in Syria, and diplomats of both nations talked on the phone to discuss the matter. Washington authorities said the drone approached too close to US ground forces in Syria near Hasakah and was shot down in self-defense, but Ankara said they lost the aircraft during operations. Turkish forces target Kurdish groups, and Hakan Fidan, Ankara’s foreign affairs minister, told the US that Turkey would keep attacking Kurdish groups in Syria. American armies work in cooperation with Kurdish forces, but Turkey considers them terrorists. Mr. Fidan told the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Ankara militaries would continue its operations in Syria and Iraq with determination.
A spokesperson of the State Department said during the phone talk, Mr. Blinken emphasized the need for greater cooperation between Washington and Ankara to address the conflicts. On Thursday, American forces shot the Turkish unmanned aircraft, which came closer to US armed forces. US armed forces further claimed that the drone was cautioned several times. Brig Gen Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon spokesperson, told the reporters that their soldiers observed many drones taking strikes near Al Hasakah on the northeastern side of Syria at 7:30 local time.
Mr. Ryder added the drones took several shots very close, around 1km from US troops, which forced the soldiers to hide in bunkers. Four hours after those strikes, a US F-16 destroyed a drone after military officers foresighted a potential threat. Ryder added it was disturbing to have such an incident between such countries, both of which are NATO allies. It became the first such incident between the two NATO members.
American Forces Took A Shot After Multiple Warnings
After the F-16 jet downed the Turkish aircraft, the US defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, talked to his Ankara counterpart and emphasized the de-escalation in northern Syria. He discussed the importance of rigidly following the deconfliction rules and demonstrating strong military communication to avoid such incidents. Turkey’s defense ministry confirmed the call and said the officials of both countries discussed the latest actions in Syria. Ankara often conducts such cross-border operations in its counter-terrorism missions. Turkish Defense Minister said that, on Thursday night, Turkish air strikes had killed 26 terrorists and attacked 30 Kurdish facilities in northern Syria, including an oil well and a storage facility.
The US has deployed almost 900 troops in Syria conducting operations against the Islamic State jihadist group (IS). Recently, a blast hit outside the Ankara interior ministry, injuring two officers, and the government declared it a terrorist attack. Officials claimed two terrorists approached there in a car and held the attack. The bomb killed one attacker, and the other was shot by the police. A group attached to PKK took responsibility for that terrorist attack. KPP is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, Europe, UK, and US. Turkish government claimed one attacker in the Ankara blast belonged to PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party).
Turkey Considers YPG Terrorists
Turkey considers PKK and YPG the same terrorist groups. However, US forces work in coordination with YPD, which is part of the group of US-backed forces known as Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that have opposed the IS group in Syria. Ankara forces hold operations in Syria for counter-terrorism missions and target the terrorist communities. Shortly after the phone call between Antoney Blinken and the Turkish official, Ankara said they had launched a new attack in northern Syria.
The Turkish defense minister said they had targeted 15 Kurdish facilities using maximum ammunition and attacked headquarters as well. The PKK started armed efforts against the Turkish government in 1984 to create a new Kurdish independent state within Turkey. After some years, PKK stepped back from its demand, but their conflicts killed over 40,000 people. The fighting erupted again in July 2015 after a ceasefire ended.