A Turkish news agency recently released an article reportedly disclosing information about the location of 10 US military bases and outposts within Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria. The Anadolu news agency piece also contained some details regarding the types of operations being handled at each base, such as which locations are large enough to manage cargo planes.
As reported by the Military Times, the article from the Anadolu news agency contains details about various US installations within Syria, some of which are likely considered classified. The information was reportedly acquired through the use of reporters on the ground.
Some of the details include the types and an approximate number of personnel operating at each location as well as weapons that have been spotted and vehicles stationed throughout the area. The report also describes the locations of the bases and included a map showing where the installations are believed to be.
For the safety of US armed forces members overseas, Tribunist is not publishing information about these locations.
The Pentagon has not confirmed the accuracy of the published information and did not comment regarding how the Anadolu news agency obtained the details that were released in the article.
In a statement, Eric Pahon, a spokesman for the Department of Defense, wrote, “For operational security reasons, we do not disclose the locations of coalition forces operating in Syria to defeat ISIS.”
Pahon went on to say, “The release of sensitive military information exposes coalition forces to unnecessary risk and has the potential to disrupt ongoing operations to defeat ISIS.”
Turkey generally perceives militant portions of the Kurdish population to be a threat to their national security. US military bases operating in the Kurdish-controlled regions could be seen as a method for empowering the Kurdish militia as the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, also referred to as YPG, play a large role in the US-led coalition’s efforts to defeat ISIS in the region.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, has openly opposed efforts by the Trump administration to arm Kurdish militants. Turkey considers YPG to be an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers Party, also known as the PKK, and that group is viewed as a terrorist organization by multiple nations including Turkey, the European Union, and the US.
Levent Tok, a reporter with the Anadolu news agency, spoke with Bloomberg and said the published information wasn’t leaked by the Turkish government, asserting reporters with the agency gathered the details on their own.
Speaking about the release, Tok said, “The US should have thought about this before it cooperated with a terrorist organization.”