Turkey has brought into question its position as a friend of the US by leaking secret information about the locations of U.S. troops in northern Syria, through its state news agency.
In a shocking move from a supposed NATO ally, the Anadolu news agency published a list of 10 U.S. military operations and their locations, including details of the numbers of personnel in each area.
Tensions between the two countries have risen, following an incident where Turkish guards violently assaulted protesters on American soil, as well as U.S. support for Kurdish forces. This leak went against the express wishes of the Pentagon, further diminishing relations between the two countries.
As reported in the Daily Caller:
The U.S., which is already operating in Syria without the permission of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has also faced ire from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over its support of a U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led fighting force, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. The SDF is comprised of a large number of fighters from the Kurdish YPG militia, which has apparent links to the PKK, otherwise known as the Kurdistan Workers Party.
For Turkey and the U.S. as well, the PKK is a terrorist group. The YPG first emerged as a Kurdish fighting force in 2004 and has battled ISIS since 2014. Turkey’s National Security Council said Monday that weapons sent to the Kurdish YPG force in Syria had already ended up in the hands of the PKK.
Turkish officials revealed in late June that Secretary of Defense James Mattis apparently intends to take U.S.-provided weapons back from the SDF battling ISIS in Syria after the fight is finally finished.
“I want to believe that Turkey’s allies will side with us, not with terrorist organizations,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. “I hope this mistake will be reversed as soon as possible.”