US deploys troops to Northern Syria, prompting concerns over counterterrorism commitment in Vilnius

US deployment of 2,500 troops to PKK-controlled northern Syria raises counterterrorism commitment concerns, sparking criticism from Türkiye and questioning NATO alliance unity.

12:33 - 18/07/2023 Salı
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Following Türkiye's relentless struggle against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a series of controversial steps have been taken consecutively by the US. Most notably, the U.S. has recently announced the deployment of 2,500 troops to northern regions of Syria, which are currently under the control of the PKK terrorist organization. This decision has prompted concerns about the US government's dedication to counterterrorism efforts, especially considering its recent pledge for a joint fight against terrorism at the NATO Summit. The development has triggered criticism, notably from Türkiye, a crucial NATO ally deeply involved in combating the PKK. President Erdogan expressed dissatisfaction, asserting that the US's support for the PKK's Syrian extension undermines the unity and integrity of the alliance.

The significant reinforcement of US presence in the region indicates a concerted effort to bolster the PKK's stronghold. By deploying additional troops and considering the deployment of F-16s, the US's unwavering support for the terrorist organization becomes more evident. These developments cast doubt on the clarity and steadfastness of the US's counterterrorism position, and raise questions about its commitment to its allies.

Several sources reveal that the 2,500 US soldiers, having completed their training, are scheduled to be deployed to Syria and Iraq for a minimum of nine months. Joining the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) operating in Syria, their primary objective will be to support the YPG/PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK. Unofficially providing security for the YPG/PYD within the CJTF, the US has engaged in joint exercises with the group and supplied them with military equipment and ammunition.

In addition to the troop deployment, the US has dispatched substantial military equipment and supplies to the region. HIMARS missile systems have been deployed to the Deir ez-Zor region, which is under PKK control, allegedly in response to perceived harassment and threats from Russia and Iran. Furthermore, plans to deploy an F-16 fleet to the region are being evaluated by the US Department of Defense, citing enhanced deterrence as the primary objective.

#Northern Syria
#Vilnius Summit
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