By Omer Koparan and Burak Karacaoglu
RAS AL-AYN, Syria (AA) - Belying U.S. promises to retrieve arms and ammunition it gave to terror group supposedly to fight ISIS/Daesh, U.S. mortar shells have been found in northeastern Syria in ammunition stores belonging to YPG/PKK terrorists.
Since the start of Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Syria last month, the terrorist YPG/PKK has martyred 17 civilians – including a woman, two children, and one infant -- and injured 36 in southern Turkey using mortars fired across the border from northern Syria.
Three Turkish soldiers were also martyred and 13 injured by PKK/YPG terrorists' mortar and cannon attacks since Oct. 9.
Turkish soldiers and their allies in the Syrian National Army seized ammunition with English labels and technical information in Ras al-Ayn, an area liberated by Operation Peace Spring, according to Anadolu Agency reporters on the ground.
Each of the many 60 ammunition crates seized, found to have been made in the U.S., has two mortar shells, and 120-mm mortars known to have a range of eight kilometers.
For years before Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring, launched on Oct. 9, U.S. forces worked with the terrorist YPG/PKK over Turkish objections, also supplying them with ample arms and ammunition, which the U.S. pledged to retrieve once Daesh was defeated.
Yet mortars like those found in northern Syria were fired into Turkish border areas and at Turkish soldiers since Oct. 9, the start of the operation, meaning that U.S. mortars given to YPG/PKK terrorists may be responsible for martyring and injuring scores of Turkish soldiers and civilians.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
On Oct. 22, Turkey reached an agreement with Russia to force YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the planned terror-free zone with their weapons.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG/PKK is its Syrian offshoot.
While the U.S. recognizes the PKK as a terrorist group, it has ignored evidence supplied by Turkey that the YPG is in fact part of the same terrorist group.
*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur