US Sees New Troops in Syria at Risk of Attack From Turkey

200 New Troops to Join Kurdish Invasion of Raqqa

On Saturday, the Pentagon announced another escalation of the war in Syria, saying they are sending another 200 ground troops into the country to take part in the Kurdish invasion of Raqqa. The deployment brings the number of US troops in Syria to around 500.

Unnamed US officials say they’re not too worried about the troops getting attacked by ISIS in the course of invading their capital city, but rather that they see a bigger risk of suffering a military attack by a US ally, Turkey.

Turkey made clear for months they didn’t want the Kurds anywhere near Raqqa, and they have attacked Kurdish forces elsewhere in Syria, including around the city of Afrin. The Turkish government has also made clear they intend to attack the city of Manbij, currently held by Kurdish forces, which is near Raqqa.

Still, Turkey is a NATO member nation, and even if they are comfortable thumbing their nose at the US and picking fights with the Kurds it would be seemingly unthinkable that they would deliberately attack targets with embedded US troops. That the matter is being discussed at all, even by anonymous officials, underscores a worsening US-Turkey relationship.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • richard young

    Ummm, who gave the US permission to invade Syria? Is this something that “exceptional” nations get to do, while for “non-exceptional” nations it is a war crime? Is Turkey “exceptional” or “non-exceptional”? Is Syria a nation? I think it is long past time to bring commitment proceedings against our “leaders” in Washington; obviously they are insane and dangerous to themselves and others.

    • Selous Scouts

      Great points. Some believe that this story is a cover in case Russia, Syria, or Hezbollah capture US personnel with the ISIS & Al-CIA_Duh terrorists.
      Back to the points, this is Orwell’s Animal Farm where some nations like the US & Israel do not have to abide by laws that other nations have to abide by.

  • je suis ΕRDOJIHAD

    This is the result of the unhistorical US foreign policy the last 6-7 years in the region by encouraging Erdogan’s islamic “democracy” model to the Arab countries. It is too late now to correct such policy which didn’t embrace real democratic values but the hidden neo-ottoman imperial plans of a dictator that will lead to total war. I hope the new administration in Washington will open its dusty history books and learn from the past. As Herodotes wrote: “History is the Mother of all Subjects regarding Humanity”

    • Bianca

      I am afraid you bought MSM narrative on Turkey. A creeping coup has been developing in Turkey since August 2015, when parliamentary elections did not result in absolute majority for ruling party to form a government and various d
      smaller parties were affraid to step into a power struggle between pro-US forces in the form of Goulen institutions and Goulen and Soros money. Technical government was lead by west-prefered Davutouglu. An intense campaign was mounted against Erdogan — who became president without power. Goulen and Soros both funded Salafi islamists, with Saudi Arabia bring the fulcrum of varied groups with one purpose — eliminate secular Syria, with Assad and his wife being an exibit A of Westernization. Ections sere repeated and ruling AKP won majority. Davutoglu became permanent prime minister and. before he took oath, somebody gave order to shoot Russian plane. It was clear that Davutou’s and Erdogan hands were forced — they had to justify the act. At that point Russia joined US in Turkey bashing, cutting contracts, trade, and tourism. That state of affairs lasted until the ruling party voted no confidence in Davutoglu government at the end of May this year. The reason? Davutouglu’s efforts to engage EU in anchoring Turkey closer to Western block were unsuccesful. EU followed US policy of bashing Turkey’s Eurasian orientation in trade and particularly energy — and trying to impose a suicidal economy on Turkey in the name of block loyalty. From refugees to visa liberalization EU had in fact refused to be of help in spite of media babble of billions presumably being given to Turkey. Visa issue was a complete sham of 72 conditions. The result was actuly return of Erdogan to power via a new and loyal government. He restored ties to Russia and China, but the Goule /Soros for es struck with the intent of killing Erdogan, main media and arrest government. Be as it may Erdogan had escaped the trap a d ghe rest is current state of zero confidence in US government in Turkey.