US reportedly installs air defense systems in northern Syria
Uğur Ergan - ANKARA
It has been claimed the United States has installed air defense and electronic radar systems in Kobani, which are controlled by the PYD and YPG and in the al-Shaddadi U.S. base in the Hasakah province, in preparation for creating a no-fly zone in northern Syria.
The PYD and YPG are considered by Turkey as the illegal PKK's Syrian offshoot and, thus, designated as terrorist organizations.
Ankara had launched two cross-border operations into northern Syria to disable these groups from establishing what it calls a terror corridor along the Turkish-Syrian border.
The Ankara government is closely monitoring the news regarding the installation of air defense and radar systems reported by some foreign media outlets.
A video circulating on social media purportedly shows U.S. soldiers installing the systems shipped to Kobani with military transport aircraft.
With those systems, the U.S. is said to want to create a no-fly zone in an area stretching from Manbij to Deir ez-Zor.
Turkish security sources said they are monitoring the activities in the region.
“We are looking into those claims [regarding the installment of radar systems],” the sources said. However, the sources neither confirmed nor denied those media reports.
One security official added they are doing what is necessary to collect more accurate information from local intelligence sources.
Radar systems are being installed in the rural areas of Kobani just across the Turkish border town of Suruç in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, foreign media outlets reported citing local sources.
“The U.S. wants to observe military air jets in the region,” an American commander in the video footage explained the reason for installing the radar systems.
It is claimed air defense systems are installed against possible Turkish airstrikes on PYD-controlled Kobani and other areas in the region.
The Pentagon established a new military base in Syria’s Manbij this year in addition to other military installments across northern Syria.
“We are prepared to stay here [in Syria] to ensure the enduring defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL],” U.S. Department of State representative William Roebuck said on Aug. 26.