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Turkish Official Hints at Possible Strikes against US Troops in Northern Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Ankara – Deep disputes between Ankara and Washington are beginning to emerge in wake of the US deployment of troops along the Syrian-Turkish border and Turkey’s strike against Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions in Syria and Iraq on April 25.

A Turkish official warned that the US forces could, along with the Kurdish militias, become targets of Turkish strikes.

A senior advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ilnur Cevik, said during a radio interview on Wednesday that Ankara can direct strikes against the American forces in northern Syria.

Their presence in this region could expose them to the threat of Turkish jets, he added.

Cevik later recanted his statements via Twitter, saying that Turkey will not attack its allies.

Cevik’s statements came in wake of US Marine’s posting of photographs that show the troops running joint patrols with the YPG along the Syrian-Turkish border.

The troops were allegedly brought in to prevent Turkey from targeting the Kurdish militias days after Ankara’s strikes in Iraq’s Sinjar and northern Syria.

US Colonel John Dorian, commander of the US-led coalition against ISIS, declared that the American forces in Syria are not aimed at backing the Kurdistan Workers Party or even condemning Turkey’s actions and latest strike against the Kurds.

The US forces’ mission in northern Syria is aimed at assuring Washington’s allies in the region and preventing the escalation in violence between Turkish forces and the YPG.

The US forces are there to monitor and report any violations and they were not asked to act as peacekeepers, Dorian stressed.

His remarks came in wake reports that the Turkish military had targeted the YPG on Wednesday night in the border region near Syria’s Kobane in the northern Aleppo countryside.

Turkey did not confirm or deny the reports and the international coalition did not issue any statements on the development.