Targeting US in Syria 'out of question' says defense minister
Turkey's defense minister on Oct. 12 said that targeting the U.S. observation point in Syria was out of question during the ongoing counter-terror operation.
Hulusi Akar said mortars were fired at Turkey's border post in Suruç district of Şanlıurfa province from a kilometre (0.6 mile) southwest of the U.S. observation point.
As self-defense, the terrorists positions were targeted, Akar said.
"There was no shooting of the U.S. observation point.
"Every kind of precaution was taken so no damage came to the U.S. base," Akar said.
He added that the firing stopped as soon as the U.S. brought up the issue with Turkish authorities.
On Oct. 11, the defense ministry rejected claims that the Turkish army targeted a U.S. observation post east of the Euphrates in northern Syria amid its counter-terror operation.
“It is out of the question that any fire targeted the U.S.'s observation post,” the ministry said in a written statement.
Stating that every kind of measure was being taken in order not to harm the U.S. base, it said “fire was halted as a precautionary measure when the U.S. conveyed its concerns.”
"It is out of the question to target any U.S. and coalition forces,” it stressed.
Meanwhile, the defense ministry on Oct. 12 said that the number of PKK/PYD-YPG terrorists neutralized in Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria has risen to 415.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
The ministry provided the latest figure on Twitter amid Turkey's Operation Peace Spring, which it said continued successfully throughout the night.
As part of the operation, PKK/PYD-YPG terrorist targets were effectively hit by land and air, it said.