When Mattis was in Ankara, Turkish-backed rebels attacked US Syria patrols
While US Defense Secretary James Mattis was talking to President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara last week, Syrian rebel forces backed by Turkey attacked the US military in northern Syria, another sign of the deteriorating relations between the US and Turkey. The Americans, who patrol the region in US-flagged armored vehicles, returned the fire. No casualties were reported although the firefight lasted a while. US officers disclosed Wednesday that Mattis was briefed on the clash at once, but it did not come up at his meeting with Erdogan. Later, the US led- coalition sent a demarche to Ankara.
DEBKAfile: Turkey, while still a member of NATO, has stopped coordinating its moves in Syria with Washington, in protest over US support for the Kurds and their Syrian YPG militia, and has moved into a coalition with Iran.