US Says Turkey Deliberately ‘Bracketing’ US Base in Northern Syria

Artillery fire hits both sides of US base

Elaborating on US allegations that Turkish troops fired artillery at them in a northern Syria base near Kobane, officials are now claiming that they believe Turkey was deliberately “bracketing” them at a known site.

In a military context, “bracketing” means the strikes did not hit the target, but rather hit on both sides of their location, pinning them by preventing them from going in either direction.

This comes in the context of US forces saying Turkey had known the location of that US base for months, and has Pentagon officials convinced that what Turkey was doing was being done on purpose. US officials say they would never do that to a partner force.

While US forces have since withdrawn from northern Syria, suggesting that this shouldn’t be an issue in the future, Pentagon officials reiterated that they have a “right to self-defense” in Syria, and could be forced to take “defensive actions” against Turkey’s military.

That seems extremely unlikely to happen, indeed the US pullout from north Syria underscores the American desire to avoid a direct confrontation with Turkey. US officials reiterate the self defense position likely in theory, not in practice.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of