Evicting Turkey from NATO would be a ‘strategic mistake,’ Gen. Jack Keane warns
Fox News senior strategic analyst Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.) explains how the outcome of Turkey’s presidential election could impact the U.S. and the importance of keeping Turkey as a NATO member.
A Turkish drone that came too close to U.S. troops in Hasakah, Syria, was shot down Thursday by the U.S. military, despite more than a dozen warnings, according to officials.
The Associated Press learned of the incident from two U.S. officials, one of whom said the drone was armed.
The official said the drone was ordered to be shot down after more than a dozen calls to Turkish military officials U.S. troops were in the area and would go into self-defense mode if the drone did not leave.
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The Pentagon in Washington, D.C. (Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images/File/Fox News)
The second official reportedly told the wire service the drone was flying in a manner that was both “unsafe” and “unsynchronized.”
U.S. Department of Defense spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed Thursday that the U.S. shot down the drone in self-defense.
The U.S. and Turkey are NATO allies, and their militaries often work together in coordinating air maneuvers, which made the drone’s actions concerning.
Currently, the U.S. has about 900 troops in Syria, countering Islamic State group militants.
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Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, shakes hands with Sweden Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in front of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg prior to the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 10, 2023. (Yves Herman/Pool Photo via AP/File/Fox News)
The drone shoot-down came after Turkey increased airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, targeting Kurdish militant groups after a suicide attack near Turkey’s interior ministry building earlier this week.
Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said during a press conference after the attack that the two people involved in suicide bombing — one who detonated, and the other who was shot — came from Syria, where they were trained.
Now, Turkey plans to go after facilities in both Syria and Iraq that belong to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or its affiliated militia group in Syria known as the People’s Defense Units (YPG).
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U.S. forces provide military training to members of the YPG/SDF, which Turkey consider as an extension of PKK in Syria, in the Qamisli district of the Al-Hasakah province, Syria, Aug. 18, 2023. (Hedil Amir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/File/Fox News)
While Turkey and the U.S. are NATO allies, tensions between the two countries continue, as Turkey’s record on human rights and its delays in agreeing to Swedish membership in NATO have been criticized by U.S. lawmakers.
Turkish officials have also criticized U.S. officials for delays in approving dozens of new F-16 fighter jets and kits to upgrade its current fleet.
Another sore subject between the two countries roots back to 2016, when Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused the U.S. of supporting a failed coup attempt against his government.
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While the U.S. rejects the claims, it has also refused to extradite the leader of the group the Turkish president claimed was behind the attempted coup, Fetullah Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Greg Wehner is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital.