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US: Pentagon complains about report on US presence in Syria

20th Jul 2017
US: Pentagon complains about report on US presence in Syria

WASHINGTON (AA): The Pentagon on Wednesday is upset about a report by Anadolu Agency on U.S. military posts in Syria that used local sources, but the department did not deny its details.

“While we cannot independently verify the sources that contributed to this story, we would be very concerned if officials from a NATO ally would purposefully endanger our forces by releasing sensitive information,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

“We do not disclose the locations of coalition forces operating in Syria to defeat ISIS,” it said referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another name for Daesh.

Anadolu Agency’s correspondents on the ground in Syria on Monday published a story gathered from local sources in the north of the country. It was accompanied by a graphic that showed the increasing number of U.S. posts in the areas controlled by the PKK terror group’s Syrian offshoots the PKK/PYD.

With Turkey voicing objection to U.S. support for the PKK/PYD, the story revealed the deepening cooperation between the US and the PKK offshoots.

The Pentagon’s statement said the release of “sensitive military information exposes coalition forces to unnecessary risk and has the potential to disrupt ongoing operations to defeat ISIS.

“ISIS is the greatest threat to regional stability, and it is critical that all parties operating in Syria remain focused on what is most important – the annihilation of ISIS,” it said.

The Anadolu Agency report shows the U.S. has two airbases and eight military posts in PKK/PYD-controlled areas.

And there are artillery, joint tactical air controllers who direct airstrikes, military counsels and training and operational planning officers as well as active troops who are involved in the conflict against Daesh from these bases.

The US has supported the PKK/PYD along with several other Arab militia groups under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces, more than two-thirds of which consists of the PKK/PYD.

The U.S. views the SDF as a “reliable partner” on the ground in Syria in its fight against Daesh in Raqqa and continues to provide it with arms and equipment.

The PKK terror group has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years that has led to the deaths of more than 40,000 victims.

Regarded as a terrorist group by the U.S. and EU, it is also involved in illicit drug production and trafficking.

[Photo: Trucks carrying US military equipment arrives in Al-Hasakah, Syria on July 10, 2017. Photographer: Habat Ahmed/AA]

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