Turkish soldiers save wounded US intel agent on Syrian border: Report
Deniz Zeyrek – ANKARAA female intelligence agent from the United States has been saved by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) soldiers after a two-day operation on the Syrian border, according to a report. Drones and helicopters participated in the operation to save the agent, who had been wounded in Syria.
Two U.S. helicopters landed in a village in the Yayladağı district of the southern province of Hatay on Aug. 5, prompting locals to call officials and report the landing. The Hatay Governor’s Office responded by saying that they were aware of the incident, daily Hürriyet reported on Aug. 7.
According to the daily, the U.S. agent, whose name was not revealed as she was on a confidential operation, was assigned to a task in Syria and wounded on Aug. 3, after which she called for evacuation. She reportedly sent her coordinates to U.S. officials, allowing them to determine her exact location.
She was determined to be in the region of the Turkmen Mountains bordering the Yayladağı district and an operation was launched to save her.
She was initially told to approach the Turkish border, as U.S. officials contacted the Turkish General Staff to coordinate throughout the rescue operation.
U.S. officials asked for permission to fly high-definition cameras and two drones carrying “Hellfire” rockets as a precaution against possible Syrian troops in the region near the agent and the Turkish army immediately gave permission.
Two U.S. drones scanned the area for two days, as two U.S. helicopters were on standby on the Turkish side of the border. However, the agent and U.S. officials were unable to meet, despite all efforts, according to the report.
As the search was ongoing, Turkish border soldiers noticed mobility in the region. The soldiers then realized that there was a person near the border and gave a warning, prompting a wounded woman, who turned out to be the sought U.S. agent, to shout that she was “a friend,” while holding her hands up.
She was taken to the army border post by the Turkish soldiers and the situation was reported to the prosecutor’s office.
The wounded agent was delivered to U.S. officials and then taken to the İncirlik Air Base, used by U.S. forces in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in the southern province of Adana.