The United States is concerned over the Turkish strikes against Kurds, with military sources saying the raids could drag Washington into new front, a report said.
Turkey’s massive airstrikes against a Kurdish militant group in the northern mountains of Iraq “left American military leaders surprised and outraged, and raised questions about the two nations’ alliance” in the war on the Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant), the Fox News said in its report published on Monday.
The report quoted a well-informed military source as saying that the US “had barely enough warning to make sure its own forces were out of the way.”
“A Turkish officer came into the Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC), and announced that the strike would begin in 10 minutes and he needed all allied jets flying above Iraq to move south of Mosul immediately,” said the military source, describing events that took place in the center, in a secret location in the Middle East.
“We were outraged,” the source said, according to the report.
The source also claimed that Washington made its objections clear and that the coalition Air Force officers in the ops center refused to share the sensitive information.
Critics of the new agreement between the US and Turkey say the deal gives Ankara cover to carry out strike missions against Kurdish fighters in Iraq and even Syria, where Kurds have won hard-fought gains against ISIL. While the Kurdish fighters have been remarkably effective fighting the terrorist army, Turkey remains their nemesis and fears the recent expansion of Kurdish control along the border could provide Kurds more incentive to form their own country in the future, according to Fox News.
By striking the Kurds, NATO-ally Turkey may have opened a new front in the war, against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. US military analysts’ fears that that war could blow back on the US and Turkey may have been realized Monday, when two women opened fire on the heavily guarded US Consulate in Istanbul and a car bomb went off outside a Turkish police station nearby, the report added.
The report also referred to other attacks which took place across Turkey on Monday.
The string of attacks comes one day after six US F-16s landed at Incirlik airbase in Southeast Turkey along with 300 US military personnel, following the Turks’ agreement to lend their bases to the U.S. after a year of resisting American requests, the report added.
On the other hand, the report noted that the Turkish government has been concerned that the US fight against ISIL would embolden the Kurds, who now control most of Turkey’s 560-mile border with Syria except for a small 68-mile corridor between the Syrian border towns of Kobani and Azaz, west of the Euphrates River.
Should the Kurds gain control of this section of the border they would have unfettered access from Iraq through Syria all the way to the Mediterranean.
A senior defense official told Fox News that another reason the Turks want to keep Kurdish fighters outside of the 68-mile border is to prevent the Kurds from potentially selling their oil on the open market from ports along the Mediterranean.