Turkey Bombs U.S. Troops; A Russian Submarine Wraps up Trials; More U.S. Forces to Saudi
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on October 12 in last twelve hours from BulgarianMilitary.com:
Exclusive: Turkey Attacks US Special Forces in Syria, Apparently by Mistake
A contingent of U.S. Special Forces was caught up in Turkish shelling against U.S.-backed Kurdish positions in northern Syria, days after President Donald Trump told his Turkish counterpart he would withdraw U.S. troops from certain positions in the area.
A senior Pentagon official said shelling by the Turkish forces was so heavy that the U.S. personnel considered firing back in self-defense.
Newsweek has learned through both an Iraqi Kurdish intelligence official and the senior Pentagon official that Special Forces operating on Mashtenour hill in the majority-Kurdish city of Kobani fell under artillery fire from Turkish forces conducting their so-called “Operation Peace Spring” against Kurdish fighters backed by the U.S. but considered terrorist organizations by Turkey. No injuries have been reported.
Instead of returning fire, the Special Forces withdrew once the shelling had ceased. Newsweek previously reported Wednesday that the current rules of engagement for U.S. forces continue to be centered around self-defense and that no order has been issued by the Pentagon for a complete withdrawal from Syria.
The Pentagon official said that Turkish forces should be aware of U.S. positions “down to the grid.” The official could not specify the exact number of personnel present, but indicated they were “small numbers below company level,” so somewhere between 15 and 100 troops. Newsweek has reached out to the Pentagon for comment on the situation.
The Turkish Defense Ministry issued a statement in response to Newsweek’s report, denying that its military had targeted U.S. forces. The ministry affirmed that “Turkish border outposts south of Suruc came under Dochka and mortar fire from the hills located approximately 1,000 meters southwest of a U.S. observation post.”
Latest diesel-electric sub for Russia’s Pacific Fleet wraps up state trials
The Project 636.3 latest diesel-electric submarine Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky built by the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg for the Pacific Fleet has completed its state trials, the Shipyard’s press office announced on Friday.
“The Admiralty Shipyard has completed the state trials of the Project 636.3 first submarine Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for the Pacific Fleet. The ship has fulfilled the program of trials, including planned submergences. All of the sub’s systems operated in the normal mode, thus confirming its stated performance characteristics,” the press office said in a statement.
The state trials lasted a week: the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky took to the sea on October 4 and returned to the Shipyard on October 10. An inspection is currently underway aboard the ship, which will be followed by its final finishing. Meanwhile, the state commission will start drawing up an acceptance/delivery certificate. The warship underwent shipbuilders’ sea trials in August-September 2019.
The Admiralty Shipyard (part of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation) earlier built a series of six Project 636.3 submarines for the Black Sea Fleet. All of them underwent deep-water trials at the Northern Fleet’s practice ranges. A TASS source did not specify whether deep-water trials of the submarine from the “Pacific Fleet” series would be held.
U.S. says deploying more forces to Saudi Arabia to counter Iran threat
The United States announced the deployment of additional American military forces to Saudi Arabia on Friday to bolster the kingdom’s defences after the Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran, Reuters reported.
The large deployment, which was first reported by Reuters, includes fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing and air defence personnel, the Pentagon said. Together with the 200 forces to Saudi Arabia announced last month, the deployment totalled about 3,000 troops, it said.
U.S.-Iran tensions have risen to new highs since May 2018, when the Trump administration withdrew from a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran that put limits on its nuclear programme in exchange for the easing of sanctions.
As Trump reinstated U.S. sanctions, increasing pressure on the Iranian economy, there have been a series of attacks that Washington and close allies have blamed on Iran, including the attack on the world’s biggest crude oil-processing facility. Iran denies responsibility.
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Source: Newsweek, TASS, Reuters