Washington indefinitely suspended a crucial joint US-Turkish drone-based intelligence program with Turkey over the latter’s October ‘Operation Peace Spring’ invasion of northern Syria, according to four anonymous US officials speaking to Reuters.

READ ALSO: Over 70 Turkish-backed Syrian militants killed in Libya

The officials said the cancellation of the program was directly linked to Turkey’s Syria invasion.

Under the program, the US flew drone-based intelligence-gathering missions targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a Turkey-based Kurdish militia group waging a guerilla campaign against Ankara. The missions, which began in 2007, were flown out of Incirlik Air Base, with the gathered intelligence shared with Turkish authorities.

The missions reportedly included the use of drones to snoop on territories in northern Iraq, administered by an autonomous Iraqi Kurdish government.

One official suggested that pulling the plug on the intelligence cooperation would make “the anti-PKK campaign more difficult and more costly for Turkey.”

The State Department declined to comment on the story, with the Defence Department confirming that the US has supported Turkey against the PKK “in many ways for decades” while declining to comment on the details of “operational matters.”

An unnamed Turkish official confirmed that the program had been scrapped. “In recent years, Turkey has not been struggling to obtain the information it needs through drones it produces itself. However, as an ally the steps taken on this issue do not contribute to ties between the two countries,” the official told Reuters.

Both Turkey and the United States consider the PKK to be a terrorist group. Ankara also classifies the YPG, the Syrian Kurdish militia force which helped defeat Daesh (ISIS)* in eastern Syria between 2014-2017, as terrorists, and claims the group has links to the PKK. The US does not share this view, and has provided the YPG with military and other assistance, and helped the militia to illegally smuggle oil out of the war-torn country.

ALSO READ  Syrian Army reverses militant gains in western Aleppo

 

Source: Sputnik, Reuters

 

Advertisements
Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Willy Van Damme
Guest
Willy Van Damme

The PKK works close with the US and Israel. Nu Turk would trust the US with this.