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Aug 10 2018

U.S. covered up shooting by SDF soldier – military news site

A soldier with the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) shot a U.S. Marine twice in the leg in the first incident of the United States’ Kurdish allies going rogue, but the U.S. military chose to cover it up, American military news site Task and Purpose said.

Sergeant Cameron Halkovich was shot in the insider attack, but the Pentagon did not make its usual announcement that it had happened, the news site said.

“This account of the Feb. 17 shooting of a U.S. Marine by a member of the Syrian militia he was supporting is based on interviews with multiple sources, military award documents, and scant details released by the Pentagon,” it said.

“It has also become an open secret among the 1,000-plus Marines and sailors of the unit Halkovich was attached to — 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, based in Twentynine Palms, California.”

However, officially the U.S. military does not recognise that the attack happened, the website said.

The trouble broke out after SDF soldiers were unhappy about severely wounded Arab civilians being brought onto the base to be treated. The U.S. soldiers insisted that the Geneva Convention be applied and the civilians be looked after, but SDF soldiers may have resented the U.S. Marines’ assumption that they could decide who could enter an SDF base.

That evening, Halkovich was shot twice with an AK-47 by an SDF soldier, who was then killed by a U.S. Marine nearby.