Reacting to US claims that Ankara provided information to its state-run news agency to publish a map of US military bases in north Syria, Turkey's presidential spokesman says they would never endanger the lives of allied soldiers.
Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Thursday denied accusations that the allies of the US had given the intelligence about the US' military locations in north Syria to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
On Monday, Anadolu Agency had published a map showing 10 military bases, training camps and locations where US military advisers are active in north Syria, which is controlled by the YPG. The map also shows details on the soldiers and their location.
The Pentagon intimated that its ally, Turkey, might have leaked the information.
The US has been supporting the YPG with arms, ammunition, money and training, a move that has angered Turkey.
The YPG is the military wing of the PYD, which is the Syrian affiliate of PKK. The PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU – resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. PKK violence has claimed thousands of lives including those of civilians and security personnel alike since 1984.
US support for the YPG has strained Turkey-US relations, as Ankara is concerned the weapons and arms supplied by the US would end up with the PKK.
In a press conference in Ankara on Thursday, Ibrahim Kalin addressed the accusations,
"Anadolu Agency's story was written by their network of journalists. They could take this issue into their agenda as a news agency. Turkey never plans to endanger the soldiers of any of its allies in any region. That's also what we expect [from our allies]"
Earlier US Department of Defense Major Adrian JT Rankine-Galloway, a Defense Department spokesman, emailed a statement saying, "While we cannot independently verify the sources that contributed to this story, we would be very concerned if officials from a NATO ally would purposefully endanger our forces by releasing sensitive information."
Army Major Josh Jacques, a US military spokesman, said in a statement that the release of sensitive military information exposed coalition forces to unnecessary risk.