US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin told his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar on Wednesday that the Defence Department was in “strong opposition” to a Turkish military operation in Syria.
Some of Turkey’s recent airstrikes in Syria have “directly threatened the safety of US personnel” in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), Secretary Austin said, according to a Pentagon release.
On 22 November, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Commander Mazlum Abdi said a Turkish drone strike hit within 500m of a military base the Kurdish-led force shares with US troops as a long term partner in the Global Coalition against ISIS.
The attack “took place despite [US troops’] presence there, Abdi said, based on SDF’s findings that the units stationed at the joint base did not appear to have been aware of it.
Days later, on 27 November, the US Central Command announced that two rockets had targeted the US patrol base in al Shaddadi. No casualties were reported in the attack.