Hertling's forces, based largely in Germany, are equipped to perform non-combatant evacuation operations, but have not been asked yet for assistance.
"We have had a relatively few number of U.S. Army Europe personnel in Turkey recently," the general says. "Some of that has been sharing intelligence."
The Turkish conflict with the PKK can be seen as an extension of the larger regional issues stemming from the violence in Syria, leading to an indirect war between the two nations. The Assad regime has stepped up distributing weapons to the PKK fighters in the last year, particularly those based in towns the Kurdish rebels control in northern Syria. Over 460 have been killed in clashes between the Turkish army and PKK fighters this year, according to a September BBC report.
In turn, the Turkish government has openly provided support to Syrian rebels.
Some in Turkey believe that the Assad regime's downfall would weaken the PKK significantly.
The exodus of Syrians has affected the entire region, with more than 100,000 spilling in Lebanon, over 100,000 in Jordan and over 40,000 in Iraq, according to a Reuters report of U.N. estimates.
An Egyptian report of U.N. numbers adds there are 150,000 refugees in the North African country.
More News on the Middle East:
- Opinion: Turkey Disappointed With Obama's Syria Policy
- Mort Zuckerman: An Intriguing Mideast Peace Proposal
- Turkish Fighter Jets Intercept Plane Bound for Syria, Find Ammo
Paul D. Shinkman is a national security reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org