US Personnel in Grave Danger as Turkish Bombs Rain Down

US Personnel in Grave Danger as Turkish Bombs Rain Down

( – There’s growing tension between the US and Turkey, after Turkish forces launched a new bombing campaign against Syria in preparation for an invasion. Leaders in Ankara are furious after a terrorist bomb killed six people in Istanbul last month — but their plans for revenge are endangering the lives of US troops.

On November 13, an explosion on a crowded Istanbul street killed six people and injured 81. Five suspects were arrested in Bulgaria days later; three were Moldovan, and two had Syrian Kurdish ancestry, but Turkey is blaming two Kurdish organizations, the Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Both groups have been waging a low-level guerilla campaign against Turkey for decades in an attempt to achieve an independent Kurdish state — and the YPG has also played a major part in the fight against Islamic State in Syria. Turkey — which is a NATO member — launched airstrikes against several Kurdish targets on November 20, and is now reportedly planning a ground invasion to destroy the Kurds’ Syrian bases.

The problem for the Pentagon is that there are still some US troops in Syria, “working… with local partners to defeat ISIS” and helping control the huge numbers of detained ISIS terrorists in the country. One of those local partners is the YPG — and any Turkish attack on them could also kill American soldiers.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has spoken to his Turkish counterpart, urging him to de-escalate the situation, and making clear that the US is strongly against the Turkish invasion. On November 30. Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder warned that an attack against Syria could allow ISIS prisoners to escape.

The question is will Turkey listen, or is the country’s leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, too angry to listen to reason?

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