The United States military is coordinating with its Turkish counterparts amid ongoing Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley said Friday.
"The Turkish military is fully aware, down to explicit grid coordinate detail, of the locations of the U.S. forces (in Syria)," Milley said during a joint news briefing with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
According to Milley, the U.S. has been in coordination with Turkey on every level, including the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and himself personally.
"We are coordinating with the Turks to make sure that they know exactly where American forces," he added.
Milley also said the Turkish military operations across the border into Syria are "still relatively limited," as only "hundreds" of Turkish troops entered Syria. The U.S. general said Turkey has been mostly conducting airstrikes, artillery strikes and some tank fire from the Turkish side of the border.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.
Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.
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