The U.S. Army sent a convoy of about 40 vehicles from Iraq to Syria in another sign of support for the terrorist group PKK terrorist group’s Syrian offshoot YPG. The convoy arrived in Hassakeh, a city controlled by the terrorists, the same day the terrorist group fired rockets toward Türkiye on the Turkish-Syrian border, targeting a police station.
Anadolu Agency (AA) reported that the convoy entered Hassakeh through the al-Waleed border crossing. The convoy, which dropped by military bases and other U.S. military-related venues in rural parts of Hassakeh, consists of fuel tankers and trucks loaded with munitions.
The U.S. left its bases in the region after Türkiye launched its Peace Spring operation in October 2019 against PKK/YPG, concentrating its military near oil fields. It, however, maintained its support to the terrorist group under the guise of a joint fight against Daesh, another terrorist group. U.S. forces are active in Hassakeh, Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, in areas occupied by the terrorist group and continuously send supplies to those areas.
The PKK is designated a terrorist organization in the U.S., Türkiye and the European Union. Washington’s support for the terrorist group in Syria has significantly strained bilateral relations with Ankara. The terrorist group has used bases across Türkiye’s border in northern Iraq and northern Syria to plot and carry out attacks on the country, working to create a terrorist corridor along the borderline, threatening both Syrian locals and nearby Turkish residents.
Since 2016, Ankara has been leading counteroffensives against the terrorist groups and striving to establish a 30-kilometer-deep (19-mile-deep) security line, for which Russia and the U.S. committed to providing support in October 2019. The same month, Türkiye launched its Operation Peace Spring against the PKK/YPG and Daesh in northern Syria, with Washington promising that the YPG would withdraw from the region. The U.S. military then evacuated all its bases in the area, prioritizing stationing near oil fields.
The continued U.S. support, namely military training and truckloads of equipment, for the terrorist group, has been under the pretext of fighting Daesh and has drawn the ire of its NATO ally Türkiye on numerous occasions. Thanks to U.S. help worth millions of dollars, the YPG has grown stronger in northeastern Syria, despite Washington’s promises to Türkiye that it would “consult and work closely” with Ankara against Daesh and the PKK.
Türkiye has been signaling a ground operation into northern Syria and Iraq for many months against the PKK and upped its threat following a 2022 terrorist attack in Istanbul that left six dead and 81 injured. But, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed “strong opposition” to plans of a ground offensive. Turkish officials dismissed any warnings, stressing that Türkiye was “committed to protecting its borders and will not seek anyone’s permission.”