Turkey’s state news agency recently decided to up and reveal the location of 10 U.S. military bases and outposts in northern Syria where US-backed forces are trying to defeat ISIS. The agency, Anadolu, was fairly extensive in their reveal, sometimes noting the number of US troops in certain locations, The Daily Beast reports.
While it is highly unusual for a NATO ally to so openly betray sensitive information, Turkey’s anger against the US hasn’t exactly been concealed. The US’ presence in Syria is directly against the wishes of Turkey (who believes the operations threaten their borders), and the US doesn’t have the permission of the Assad regime.
A major point of contention is that Turkey believes the US is indirectly supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK, which the US and other countries have labeled as a terror organization. Though the US denies it, Turkey believes weapons supplied to allies like Syrian Kurdish YPG militia are finding their way to the PKK. According to Turkey’s National Security Council, “This shows that both are the same organization.”
These threats and leaks come only a month after Russia began threatening to target US aircraft in the region. The whole situation is turning into quite the quagmire.