US confirms the exposure of its forces in Syria to Turkish bombing .. And Ankara responds[/rtl]
[rtl]Date: 2019/10/12 8:13 • 113 times read[/rtl]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon confirmed that US forces came under heavy artillery fire from Turkish positions on Friday, while the Turkish Defense Ministry denied any targeting of US positions in the region.
Pentagon spokesman Brock DeWalt said: "An explosion occurred hundreds of meters from a site outside the area of the security mechanism, and in an area known to the Turks that US forces are present."
No one was hurt and all US troops were reviewed after the incident, which occurred near Ain Arab late on Friday, he said.
The spokesman noted that US forces did not withdraw from Kobani, while a US official, who asked not to be named, said that few US troops moved away from the site temporarily after the artillery shelling, but they are still in the area and is expected to return.
"The United States demands that Turkey avoid actions that could lead to immediate defensive action," DeWalt said.
Earlier on Friday, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milli told reporters at the Pentagon that Turkey had been informed of US positions in Syria.
Senior Pentagon officials stressed that Turkey should avoid any action that would endanger the 1,000 US troops inside Syria before the Turkish incursion.
Although US forces did not intend to shoot at NATO member Turkey, the Pentagon has signaled its right to defend its troops.
Since Wednesday, Turkey has been conducting a military operation dubbed the "spring of peace" in northern Syria against the Kurdish factions, which have long been an ally of Washington in the war on "IS".