The Pentagon on Wednesday slammed the Turkish government for releasing a state-run news service report pinpointing the locations of 10 U.S. military posts in Syria, Bloomberg reported.
The Anadolu Agency published the report Wednesday and the Pentagon wasted little time to respond, saying the release of such information threatens the lives of U.S. service members fighting ISIS.
The information includes detailed information on the number of American soldiers deployed, as well as a map identifying U.S. armed forces’ presence in the region, the report said.
Anadolu reported that U.S. forces use “places which are hard to be detected, like residential areas, PKK/PYD camps, easily transformed factories as operation points.” PKK/PYD refers to two political factions in Syria.
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In this May 18, 2017 file photo, a Syrian National flag hangs out of a damaged building at the mountain resort town of Zabadani in the Damascus countryside, Syria. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File) (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Bloomberg reported that Anadolu also detailed aid routes, as well as equipment stocked at various military points, which it claimed “includes artillery batteries with high maneuverability,” as well as multi-barrel rocket launchers.
Although the U.S. and Turkey have a military alliance since the Cold War, tensions began to rise following a U.S. decision to back Kurdish fighters in the region.
“While we cannot independently verify the sources that contributed to this story, we would be very concerned if officials from a NATO ally would purposefully endanger our forces by releasing sensitive information,” Defense Department spokesman Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway wrote in an email to Bloomberg.
Levent Tok, one of the reporters who worked on the story, conveyed little remorse for releasing information.
He told Bloomberg the story was based on field reporting, not leaked information, and that “The U.S. should have thought about this before it cooperated with a terrorist organization.”