Pentagon Giving Turkey Intelligence on PKK
The United States is actively supporting Turkey in its attacks against PKK terrorists, although remaining vague on the precise nature of the intelligence provided.
The United States has given Turkey intelligence to track Kurdish fighters hiding in Iraq, a Pentagon spokesman said on Monday, but he would not say whether Washington gave Ankara precise targets used in weekend raids.
Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman also would not say whether the United States gave Turkey prior approval to use Iraqi air space to conduct the strikes. “The United States continues to assist with information to the Turkish government that will help them deal with the insurgent situation that they have up there,” Whitman said.
The Pentagon had said it was helping Turkey gain the “actionable” intelligence needed for a strike against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants. Actionable intelligence refers to information that can be acted upon, such as data that pinpoints the location of a target for a military strike.
Asked specifically whether the United States gave Turkey targets used in weekend raids, Whitman said he would not “get into details like that.”
Which is press secretary-speak for “Yes.”
Given the sensitivity of the situation, the United States government naturally wants to be a bit cagey here. At the same time, we have a NATO ally being attacked by terrorists who are based in territory occupied by American soldiers. It would be inconceivable for 1) Turkey to risk killing American personnel by bombing without prior coordination or 2) for us not to give them the best intel at our disposal so as to minimize collateral damage.