By Sarp Ozer
SANLIURFA (AA) – Turkey's defense minister on Saturday said that targeting the U.S. observation point in Syria was out of question during the ongoing counter-terror operation.
Hulusi Akar said mortars were fired at Turkey's border post in Suruc district of Sanliurfa province from a kilometre (0.6 mile) southwest of the U.S. observation point.
As self defense, the terrorists positions were targeted, Akar said.
"There was no shooting of the U.S. observation point.
"Every kind of precaution was taken so no damage came to the U.S. base," Akar said.
He added that the firing stopped as soon as the U.S. brought up the issue with Turkish authorities.
Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to eliminate terrorist elements of the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG, from the region.
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.
* Writing by Dilara Hamit