Though the Pentagon refused to confirm the claim, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials today announced that the US has agreed to deploy advanced rocket launcher systems in southern Turkey next month, with an eye toward attacking targets in ISIS-held territory in northern Syria “in a more efficient way.”
The foreign ministry statement claimed the US would be sending the M142 Hgh Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a truck-mounted rocket launcher system. The HIMARS has been used in the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistna, and was blamed for a 2010 incident in which US rockets killed 12 civilians, leading to its suspension from use for a time.
Pentagon officials wouldn’t confirm Turkey’s claim, saying only that deployments were “under discussion.” Turkey claimed the move as a reaction to recent cross-border rocket fire coming from ISIS territory into areas housing refugees in southern Turkey.
Turkish officials said the deployment would allow them to “seal off” the area with rocket fire, and that the longer-range of the rockets would allow them to support “moderate opposition” in seizing the territory from ISIS eventually.
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