Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency carried out strikes in Syria against Kurdish militant targets after a bomb attack in Ankara last weekend.
Turkey’s recent airstrike has significantly impacted northern and eastern Syria, damaging critical infrastructural assets, including a power plant and an oil station. The attacks come following Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan’s statements following the bomb attack in Ankara over the past weekend.
US jet downs Turkish drone in Syria, Pentagon confirms
One of the officials also said the drone had been flying in an “unsafe” and “unsychronized” manner. Typically, the US and Turkish military, which are NATO allies, work in close coordination in conducting air maneuvers.
The downing of the Turkish drone marks the first known incident in which the military forces of NATO allies US and Turkey have come into a direct confrontation.
Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said Turkish drones had been seen carrying out airstrikes Hasakah, Syria on Oct. 5 morning about one km away from U.S. troops.
A few hours later a Turkish drone came within less than a half a kilometer (0.3 miles) of U.S. troops and was deemed a threat and shot down by F-16 aircraft.
“We have no indication that the Turkey was intentionally targeting U.S. forces,” Ryder told reporters.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Turkish counterpart after the incident, a call Ryder said was “fruitful.”
The incident comes at a delicate moment for U.S.-Turkish relations, with the United States hoping Turkey will ratify NATO membership for Sweden.
U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish forces said Turkish attacks had killed eight people in an escalation prompted by the bomb attack in Ankara by Kurdish militants.
U.S. support for Kurdish forces in northern Syria has long caused tension with Turkey, which views them as a wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). That group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack in Ankara near government buildings.
On Wednesday, Turkey said the two attackers had come from Syria. The bombing killed both attackers and wounded two police officers. The Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led force backed by the United States, denied that the bombers had passed through its territory.