What Happened: U.S. forces reportedly came under apparent accidental fire from Turkish troops in northern Syria amid Ankara's advance into the region, Newsweek reported Oct. 11, citing an Iraqi Kurdish intelligence official and a senior U.S. Defense Department official.
Why It Matters: If confirmed, the incident highlights the risk to U.S. forces in the region as Turkey continues its incursion into northeastern Syria. It could also prompt Washington to either withdraw additional forces or boost its presence in the area to ensure the safety of its troops. The incident could also further increase diplomatic tensions between the United States and Turkey, particularly if any direct or indirect Turkish fire results in U.S. injuries or deaths.
Background: Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria on Oct. 9 after President Donald Trump ordered a withdrawal of U.S. forces from the area.
- Turkey Races the Clock as Its Ground Forces Enter Syria (Oct. 10, 2019)
- An Impatient Turkey Gets Ready to Enter Northeastern Syria (Oct. 9, 2019)
- Syria: The U.S. Will Step Aside for Turkey's Push Against the SDF (Oct. 7, 2019)