Turkey's news agency publishes locations of US bases in Syria
Turkey’s state-run news outlet, the Anadolu Agency, on Tuesday published detailed information on the location of U.S. bases in northern Syria.
Ten bases, including two with air strips, were identified in a map by Anadolu Agency’s English website. The Turkish version includes some troop counts and a detailed map of the U.S. armed forces' presence.
In addition to the potential threat to U.S. forces posed by disclosing the base locations, the Anadolu Agency also identified locations with French special forces.
Amid growing tensions between the U.S. and Turkey, the map shows U.S. positions in Kurdish controlled areas of northern Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has largely opposed the Trump administration’s decision back in early May to arm the Kurdish militant group.
Turkey views the YPG as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a Turkish separatist movement that has been labeled as a terrorist organization by several nations including Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.
The Pentagon said it had conveyed its concern to the Turkish government.
“While we cannot independently verify the sources that contributed to this story, we would be very concerned if officials from a NATO ally would purposefully endanger our forces by releasing sensitive information,” Major Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway, a Defense Department spokesman, said in an emailed statement. “The release of sensitive military information exposes Coalition forces to unnecessary risk and has the potential to disrupt ongoing operations to defeat ISIS.”
Levent Tok, an Anadolu Agency reporter on the story, said the information about U.S. troop positions wasn’t leaked. The story was based on field work by Anadolu’s Syria reporters and some of the information on bases had been broadcast on social media by Kurdish fighters, he told Bloomberg on Wednesday. “The U.S. should have thought about this before it cooperated with a terrorist organization,” he said.