Turkey betrays NATO, leaks secret locations of US, French troops in Syria

 US troops on patrol near the northern Syrian village of Ain Issa on June 3, 2017.
US troops on patrol near the northern Syrian village of Ain Issa on June 3, 2017.
Turkey’s state news agency on Tuesday published the locations of secret US military bases in Syria as well as details on the numbers of US and French troops stationed there, sparking the ire of fellow NATO member states.

In the latest display of tensions between Turkey and other NATO member nations, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency earlier this week published a detailed report of the secret locations of US military bases, operational posts and military posts inside Syria. The 620-word news report also included the numbers of US soldiers and French special forces stationed at these locations.

The unprecedented leaking of sensitive battlefield information by the state-run news agency obviously had official Turkish backing, according to Jasper Mortimer, FRANCE 24’s Turkey correspondent.

“It certainly was intentional. Anadolu agency is the hand-servant of the [Turkish] government. It would not have published this report without the green light from the top of government,” explained Mortimer, reporting from Ankara, adding that the revelation of troop numbers was particularly serious. “War correspondents do not give the number of troops in the unit to which they are attached. That is seen as giving information to the enemy. But here, Anadolu agency appears to have done exactly that.”

‘Advertising’ battlefield secrets

The report, “US increases military posts supporting PKK/PYD in Syria,” lists US positions in Kurdish administered area of northern Syria and is the latest display of Ankara’s ire over Washington’s support for the PYD (Democratic Union Party), which Turkey views as the Syrian affiliate of the proscribed Turkish PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party).

The PYD is the political umbrella of the YPG (People’s Protection Units) which part of the US-led military operations against the Islamic State (IS) group in the region.

“Turkey sees the YPG as an affiliate of the PKK and Turkey has long called on Washington to withdraw support for them. But there’s a difference between calling on America to withdraw support and actually advertising the details of that support,” said Mortimer.

The US denies working with Kurdish separatists and maintains the YPG is part of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), which includes a large component of Arab troops.

French special forces on the ground


The leaked details of US positions inside Syria include three US military posts in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa, home to the IS group’s de facto capital.

The report mentions the presence of US and French special forces stationed in a military post located on a hill south of Kurdish-administered town of Kobani. At a military base in Ayn Issah, a town in northern Raqqa, troops included “200 US soldiers and 75 French special forces units,” the report added.

Operational capacities of the locations, including bases that are large enough for military helicopters and cargo planes are also detailed, as well as weapons arsenal that include artillery batteries, rocket launchers and armored vehicles.

Lives at risk, says Pentagon

The report sparked strong condemnations from the US Defense and State Departments on Wednesday, with the Pentagon warning that the leaks could put lives at risk.

“The release of sensitive military information exposes coalition forces to unnecessary risk and has the potential to disrupt ongoing operations to defeat ISIS,” Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told reporters on Wednesday, using another acronym for the IS group.

French officials have not yet responded to the Turkish news report. When contacted by FRANCE 24, a French foreign ministry press officer said an official statement was not expected on Thursday.

The latest Anadolu report marks another step in the deterioration of US-Turkey relations, with Ankara accusing Washington of failing to expedite the extradition of Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen. Ankara blames Gulen for masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, a charge Gulen denies.

Tensions have also been simmering between Turkish military and NATO officials based in Brussels. Turkey is NATO’s only Muslim-majority member with the alliance’s second-largest standing army. In December 2016, NATO’s top commander, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti warned of a “degradation” of the alliance’s command operations following Turkey’s dismissal of “talented, capable” senior Turkish military officials in massive purges after the July 2016 coup attempt.

FRANCE24

  • Niemals

    I still can’t understand why Turkey can be a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member state.

    Turkey is occupying half of Cyprus, that makes NATO participants in the crime of occupation.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a835c6d68e080224a9324186c300a2963888f91ade41879d10c2c37a149afc8f.jpg Barrels and sandbags block a road that divides north and south Cyprus in Nicosia.

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a77a731de450a4d2240b586aaa5139f4b2b75462df438e6de8d09f9b5f8a8333.jpg London office of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    The North Atlantic Treaty (4 April 1949) included the five Treaty of Brussels states plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

    How come that I’m not att all surprised that the Muslim Turkey betrays NATO?

    Turkey is NATO’s only Muslim-majority member with the alliance’s second-largest standing army.
    In December 2016, NATO’s top commander,
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d1ba83c7953ecea39200d246f2888a3d4f31251c8c801d573d34513b3e814cb9.jpg Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti
    Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti warned of a “degradation” of the alliance’s command operations following Turkey’s dismissal of “talented, capable” senior Turkish military officials in massive purges after the July 2016 coup attempt.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6acdb86dc09db2843a1af38614d65a80a6e45c09734987e65a198a17773b547d.jpg A Turkish naval vessel near the Bodrum peninsula in 2016. The weekend saw a standoff between Turkish and Greek forces near a group of disputed Greek islets in the Aegean. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
    “Greek and Turkish warships in standoff in Aegean sea” (The Guardian)
    Incident comes amid fresh tension between the countries, after Greek court blocked extradition of Turkish army officers over failed July coup
    “Tensions flare as Greece tells Turkey it is ready to answer any provocation” (The Guardian).

    I’m sure the following text will ignite the anger of infamous individuals on this blog;
    Cyprus has been divided since 1974.
    Turkey has criticized Israel for its action in Gaza, but what does Turkey have in its luggage from the occupation of northern Cyprus?
    Turkey’s invasion of northern Cyprus in July-August 1974 meant the use of napalm and fear among Greek Cypriot villagers, ethnic cleansing and a wall across the island.
    Israel’s occupation in 1967 did not force a single Arab and the wall is in order to escape Islamic terrorists, not as in Cyprus to keep out the peaceful Greeks.

  • vs

    Moroccan police used tear gas against demonstrators https://lenta.ru/news/2017/07/21/maroccodemonsrations/

  • Hannibal

    Ottoman Empire rising…

    • Danny Farah

      They are trying to fit in with Iran and Russia and let’s see if they allow the Erd in with them. TIme to kick them out of Nato and stop aiding them period.

  • Danny Farah

    All this because the mother fucker Erdogan do not want to give the Kurds autonomy. I think the west should arm the kurds to the teeth and have them unleash a never ending war against Turkey. Let the bastard suffer. Erdogan or rather the Monkey want to be the absolute leader in Turkey and even want to swallow more lands so he can rule in more areas. The west should have aided the last coup and to help get rid of this monster. he is no good son of a bitch and time to kick him out of Nato. And I agree with Niemals Turkey took over half of Cyprus and the West were cowards not to confront the Turks. I hope they redo their calculations but the West do not have the stomach for it since the Monkey threatened to unleash human links of refugees to Europe. he is monster who keep taking and don’t give anything back. it’s time to tie him up and kick all the turks out of Europe and send them back to Erdogan. Let him suffer the heat for a change.

    • Omega

      Why would Turkey give the Kurds autonomy? It was the West (the Anglo and then the Anglo-Americans) who have been promising the Kurds, since the British-funded collapse of the Ottoman Empire, a piece of land somewhere if they fought, as proxies, in the Middle East. Thing is: the (silly) Kurds keep fighting but the land never came.

      The latest Turkish “coup” was dubious. More of an orchestrated fiasco by Erdogan (helped by Putin) to purge whoever he considered on his way to a totalitarian-like reign.

      If the West did nothing when Turkey seized northern Cyprus, it’s because they (the Anglo-Americans) were perfectly fine with it. Division has always benefited the British Empire as it would allow them to arm both sides (via their USA vassal state). Greeks vs Turks, North vs South Korea, India vs Pakistan, etc are some examples.

      • Danny Farah

        Always blaming somebody else for your problems. if that’s suits you fine then i have nothing to say about it. But Russia and Iran plant their foot soldiers in middle east to gain more control then you are fine with it. whatever dude..Did you forgot the Soviet empire controlling eastern europe? did you forget Russia went into Afghanistan? did you forget Russia demolished Chechenia? Did you forget that the west saved muslims from the Serbs. Not all west were that bad.. Israel accuses the west of forgetting the Jews during holocaust and other atrocities committed against them by Hitler while the west stood by. i am siding her with Israel.. I am just saying everybody wants to lay the blame on the West while they admitted more Syrian refugees while Iran, RUssia and Hezbollah kicking them wherever they see them. Stop your whining and get real. If you are going to advocate a homeland for the Palestinians why should the kurds be different? I am of course against Turkey taking half of Cyprus and I do blame NATO in allowing Turkey to take over without any consequences. But I am told by some Cypriots that the part Turkey took over were muslims but not an excuse for them to take over anyway.

        • Omega

          May I recommend you read your initial post and then this one? It’s one erratic, borderline psychotic rambling if you ask me. I hope you take the following constructively: stay coherent and on point.

          Where, exactly, do you read me blame anyone for “my” problems? This is about Turkey. I simply recalled a historical fact: that Britain promised the Kurds an independent piece of land if they fought for them. Britain did the same with the non-Jewish Palestinians who helped push the Ottomans out of Palestine. Each and every single time, Britain shafted those who sided with them.

          I recommend you educate yourself on who created the Soviet Union – it was, again, Britain after they financed the Bolshevik Revolution to get rid of one of their biggest competitor: Tsarist Russia. This was extensively researched by Anthony Sutton in his book “Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution” (available online for free in a pdf format). The Soviet Union’s expansion was very much planned by Britain to fuel the US (another British vassal state) military-industrial complex. As much as the Cold War appeared like a rivalry between the Soviet Union and the USA, there very much was an underlying collusion going on between military-industrial companies on both sides. Even critical components for aiming ballistic nuclear missiles were sold to the Soviets by the Americans. This was, again, researched and published by Sutton (based on archives). CFR insider Richard Pipes had confirmed Sutton was right and that other historians were too afraid to touch the truth.

          I am aware of Russia’s destructive military intervention in Chechnya. It came to be after the FSB’s false-flag bombings of residential buildings in Buynaksk and Volgodonsk that killed 300 civilians. It was blamed on Muslim Chechens in order for Russia to attack Chechnya and help Putin’s rise to power. I don’t mean to throw a non sequitur but it was similar to 9/11: a false-flag operation blamed on Muslims to invade the Middle East.

          The West saved Muslims from the Serbs? I don’t know if you’re serious, trolling or simply naive but the Clinton-NATO bombings did anything but save Muslims. Thousands of Muslims died under Milosevic in the first years and an increasing number following the Western bombings. While Clinton claimed that he ordered the bombings after diplomacy failed, the 1998 Policy Committee report shows that the US military was ready from the get-go and only waited for a pretext. Milosevic gave it to them and the US bombed, destroyed to build rebuild at will – all while purging the Americans tax payers money (the social security fund was even affected). You really need to get your facts in order.

          I honestly have no clue how you landed on Israel, again, but I suspect you do it subconsciously – you just can’t help it and must throw a (failed) subliminal message each and every single time. Either way, if Israelis blame the West for standing by during WW2, I recommend they educate themselves on who instigated WW2 and why. They might want to know that Israel was a British project instigated by the non-Jewish ruling class to have a bridgehead in the ME and that Jews were the very much needed pawns to make it happen.

          I don’t know what others say or who they blame but my reference to the “West” is centred around the Anglo-Americans and whoever colludes with them. Syria, Iran and Russia did not start wars in the Middle East, the West did and thus, it’s the very least they can do in taking refugees.

          Where do you read me say that the Kurds should not have a homeland? I said they have been fighting for the West for decades in exchange for an independent land that never came.

          Whatever some Cypriots told/tell you remains an opinion. I am not even sure what they mean by “that the part Turkey took over were muslims” – isn’t most of Turkey muslim? Reality is that the West turned a blind eye when Turkey invaded and seized northern Cyprus.

          • vs

            信言不美,美言不信。善者不辯,辯者不善。知者不博,博者不知。聖人不積,既以為人己愈有,既以與人己愈多。天之道,利而不害;聖人之道,為而不爭

        • Omega

          May I recommend you read your initial post and then this one? It’s one erratic, borderline psychotic rambling if you ask me. I hope you take the following constructively: stay coherent and on point.

          Where, exactly, do you read me blame anyone for “my” problems? This is about Turkey. I simply recalled a historical fact: that Britain promised the Kurds an independent piece of land if they fought for them. Britain did the same with the non-Jewish Palestinians who helped push the Ottomans out of Palestine. Each and every single time, Britain shafted those who sided with them.

          I recommend you educate yourself on who created the Soviet Union – it was, again, Britain after they financed the Bolshevik Revolution to get rid of one of their biggest competitor: Tsarist Russia. This was extensively researched by Anthony Sutton in his book “Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution” (available online for free in a pdf format). The Soviet Union’s expansion was very much planned by Britain to fuel the US (another British vassal state) military-industrial complex. As much as the Cold War appeared like a rivalry between the Soviet Union and the USA, there very much was an underlying collusion going on between military-industrial companies on both sides. Even critical components for aiming ballistic nuclear missiles were sold to the Soviets by the Americans. This was, again, researched and published by Sutton (based on archives). CFR insider Richard Pipes had confirmed Sutton was right and that other historians were too afraid to touch the truth.

          I am aware of Russia’s destructive military intervention in Chechnya. It came to be after the FSB’s false-flag bombings of residential buildings in Buynaksk and Volgodonsk that killed 300 civilians. It was blamed on Muslim Chechens in order for Russia to attack Chechnya and help Putin’s rise to power. I don’t mean to throw a non sequitur but it was similar to 9/11: a false-flag operation blamed on Muslims to invade the Middle East.

          The West saved Muslims from the Serbs? I don’t know if you’re serious, trolling or simply naive but the Clinton-NATO bombings did anything but save Muslims. Thousands of Muslims died under Milosevic in the first years and an increasing number following the Western bombings. While Clinton claimed that he ordered the bombings after diplomacy failed, the 1998 Policy Committee report shows that the US military was ready from the get-go and only waited for a pretext. Milosevic gave it to them and the US bombed, destroyed to build rebuild at will – all while purging the Americans tax payers money (the social security fund was even affected). You really need to get your facts in order.

          I honestly have no clue how you landed on Israel, again, but I suspect you do it subconsciously – you just can’t help it and must throw a (failed) subliminal message each and every single time. Either way, if Israelis blame the West for standing by during WW2, I recommend they educate themselves on who instigated WW2 and why. They might want to know that Israel was a British project instigated by the non-Jewish ruling class to have a bridgehead in the ME and that Jews were the very much needed pawns to make it happen.

          I don’t know what others say or who they blame but my reference to the “West” is centred around the Anglo-Americans and whoever colludes with them. Syria, Iran and Russia did not start wars in the Middle East, the West did and thus, it’s the very least they can do in taking refugees.

          Where do you read me say that the Kurds should not have a homeland? I said they have been fighting for the West for decades in exchange for an independent land that never came.

          Whatever some Cypriots told/tell you remains an opinion. I am not even sure what they mean by “that the part Turkey took over were muslims” – isn’t most of Turkey muslim? Reality is that the West turned a blind eye when Turkey invaded and seized northern Cyprus.