US diplomat slams Turkey for flying drones near US bases in NE Syria

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – James Jeffrey, former US Representative for Syria, criticized Turkey for flying drones in close proximity to US bases in northeast Syria at this ultra-sensitive time when the whole Middle East is a “powder keg”.

In an interview with Washington Online on North Press, Jeffrey said that flying Turkish drones near the US bases in northeast Syria is “the stupidest action by Turkish authorities in years.”

Jeffrey emphasized that the US forces in Syria and Iraq have been under attack by Iranian and Iranian-backed militias for weeks. Given this volatile situation, he questioned why Turkish drones were flying near American troops at such a sensitive time.

“Why was this drone flying in close proximity to American troops at this very very sensitive time?” He wandered.

He stressed that performing this action, amidst heightened tensions in the Middle East, has raised concerns and highlighted the need for Turkish political oversight.

“This is brain dead. This is really bad. It means that somebody in Ankara is not carrying out political oversight over these things,” Jeffrey strongly criticized.

Jeffrey noted that President Biden had made it clear that any escalation would be met with a strong response. He cited a recent incident where an American destroyer successfully intercepted missiles and drones fired by Iranian-backed Houthis towards Israel.

Maintaining strong relations between Turkey and the US was emphasized by Jeffrey as he stressed the importance of good relations.

Additionally, he highlighted Turkey’s potential role in mediating Israel-Hamas conflict. “Turkey can play a mediating role. It is very important that Turkey keeps lines open to everyone,” Jeffery said.

Regarding the Turkey-Israel relationship, he confirmed the importance of trade, tourism, and intelligence cooperation between the two countries in countering the shared threat posed by Iran in the region.

“Israel is not a threat to Turkey, Turkey is not a threat to Israel, but Iran is a threat to both,” the American diplomat concluded.

 By Shella Abdulhalim