U.S. troops work with Turks in Syria
WASHINGTON — Small numbers of U.S. special operations forces for the first time are accompanying Turkish government forces and their Syrian opposition partners fighting Islamic State militants inside Syria, military and administration officials said Friday.
The move follows a period of U.S. tensions with Turkey, including U.S. criticism of clashes last month between Turkish and Syrian Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Turkey is a NATO ally of Washington’s, but it has been angered by U.S. support for the Kurdish YPG militia in fighting the Islamic State in Syria.
The Pentagon also said a U.S. airstrike near Raqqa, Syria, on Sept. 7 killed one of the Islamic State’s most senior leaders. Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook identified the dead leader as Wa’il Adil Hasan Salman alFayad.