'US troops fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish militias in the same uniform may be targeted by the Turkish army due to the difficulty of distinguishing them in the heat of battle, Turkey’s Deputy PM has warned. The unambiguous warning comes at a time when Turkish troops are making further advances into the Kurdish-held Syrian province of Afrin as part of ‘Operation Olive Branch’. Previously, Ankara complained that the American troops’ embedding with Kurdish militias – regarded as terrorists in Turkey – is unacceptable for the US-Turkish alliance.
Speaking to CNN Turk on Sunday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said if US troops wear “terrorists’ clothes” and find themselves among “terrorists” of the Kurdish YPG forces attacking the Turkish troops, “there is no chance that we [will] make a distinction at this point.”
He stressed that any person bearing weapons and fighting alongside the Kurds “is our target.” However, Bozdag added neither side wants open confrontation. Ankara has made it clear that US troops present in the area should stay away from where the Turks operate, and should not assist their Kurdish allies, he said.
“We are clearly saying that we do not want to confront our ally, the United States. I am sure that they do not want to face Turkey and Turkish armed forces,” Bozdag stated.'
Read More: US troops in Kurdish uniform may be targeted by Olive Branch forces – Turkish Deputy PM