QAMISHLI – A US Central Command spokesman (Centcom) said on Monday that the artillery strike in northeastern Syria by Turkish-backed radicals did not hit the US military convoy.
“On 3 November, a US patrol in Northeast Syria witnessed several artillery attacks, shells landed a kilometer or more from the road it was moving on. The patrol was not touched,” the CENTCOM spokesman stated, RIA Novosti reported.
The spokesman added that US forces retain inalienable right to self-defense, saying that the security of the troops is given priority.
Previously, Maj. Gen. Yuri Borenkov, head of the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation, said the United States had informed Russia of an attack on a US military convoy on Sunday by pro-Turkish militants in northeastern Syria.
According to Borenkov, no US military personnel were injured during the attack.
US troops leaving
In October, US President Donald Trump announced that US troops had begun to withdraw from northern Syria to Iraq. In the same month, Turkey launched the military operation Fountain of Peace in northeastern Syria to expel the Kurdish and militant units of the Daesh (banned terrorist group in Russia and other countries) from the area.
This comes as days ago the New York Times reported that about 900 US military personnel may be in Syria following the withdrawal of US troops from the Arab country.
According to newspaper sources, of a contingent of 1,000 men, 250 will remain in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor. Mechanized troops will also soon join the first hundreds of foot soldiers.
The total number of troops protecting the oilfields will be about 500. The newspaper estimates that this number, added to the troops in the Al-Tanf zone, totals about 900 military personnel.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would continue its operation in Syria if the US failed to deliver on its promises to pull Kurdish forces out of the security zone.