US effectively shuts off Turkey from NE Syria airspace

US effectively shuts off Turkey from NE Syria airspace

WASHINGTON-Anadolu Agency
US effectively shuts off Turkey from NE Syria airspace

The U.S. military has effectively shut Turkey off on Oct. 7 from the air space in northeastern Syria, taking a series of actions that
reduce the possibility that Turkish jets could support a planned military operation there.

Pentagon spokeswoman Carla Gleason told reporters the Combined Air Operations Center has removed Turkey from the anti-ISIL coalition's air tasking order, the means by which it coordinates the flights of partner nations operating in the theater, and halted Turkey's access to surveillance information.

She stopped short of saying that the air space has been shut down to Turkey, but noted "if you're not on the air tasking order, it's really hard to coordinate flights in that area."

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was in contact with President Donald Trump regarding Turkey's planned operation in northern Syria, a Pentagon official said on Oct. 7.

Esper was also in touch with State Secretary Mike Pompeo, new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, and National Security Advisor Robert O'Rien, the official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

"U.S. does not endorse Turkish action. The secretary of defense will be in touch with affected allies, partners and [Capitol] Hill today," said the official.

He also said the U.S. pulled troops in the security mechanism area between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in the north.