Claiming that Turkey’s UAV “entered the limited operation zone declared by the USA” in Syria, Pentagon Spokesperson General Patrick Ryder said, “US F-16 warplanes shot down the UAV as self-defense.”
The US Department of Defense (Pentagon) stated that they accept Turkey’s legitimate security concerns in the fight against the PKK, that Turkey is one of the strongest and most valuable NATO allies and that the partnership will continue.
Pentagon Press Spokesperson General Patrick Ryder announced at the daily press conference that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Minister of Defense Yaşar Güler had a telephone conversation.
Noting that Austin acknowledged Turkey’s legitimate security concerns during the meeting, Ryder noted that the importance of close coordination between the two countries was underlined to prevent any risk to US forces in the region.
Later, when journalists asked about the claim that a Turkish drone was shot down in Syria, Ryder stated that Turkey is one of the strongest and most valuable NATO allies and that the partnership will continue.
“This is certainly a regrettable incident,” the Pentagon official said.
‘We have no indication that Turkey deliberately targeted US forces’
Claiming that Turkey’s UAV “entered the limited operation zone declared by the USA”, Ryder said, “Commanders evaluated that the UAV, which came closer than half a kilometer to the US forces, posed a potential threat, and US F-16 warplanes used the UAV as self-defense.” He claimed that he brought down .
In response to a question, Ryder said, “We have no indication that Turkey deliberately targeted US forces,” and argued that “multiple communication channels at multiple levels” were used between the two countries before the shooting incident, but did not give details about the content of the contacts.
‘I repeat, it was a pathetic incident’
Reiterating that the defense ministers of the two countries had a “very productive meeting” on the issue, the spokesman said, “I repeat, it was a regrettable incident. “We will continue to keep communication lines open to prevent such incidents from occurring,” he said.
Regarding the PKK, Ryder said, “We stand by our NATO ally Turkey and the Turkish people in the fight against the PKK. PKK has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States. For this reason, we condemn any terrorist act against Turkey and the Turkish people,” he repeated.