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U.S. to share with Turkey intelligence on Kurdish rebels
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08:26, November 01, 2007

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The United Sates will share with Turkey its intelligence on Kurdish rebel positions along the border with Iraq, Pentagon said on Wednesday.

By doing this, the U.S. government can help the Turkish government "get actionable intelligence," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters.

"The key for any sort of any military response, by the Turks or anybody else, is actionable intelligence," he added.

Turkey has vowed to take all necessary measures against the Kurdish rebels, including a possible incursion into northern Iraq after dozens of Turkish soldiers were recently killed by Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants.

Over the past week, the Turkish army has stepped up military operations against the PKK in the border area.

President George W. Bush told his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul by telephone last week that the United States supports Turkey's efforts to counter deadly attacks by the PKK, and "actionable intelligence is something that we can provide."

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week also said it did not make sense for the Turks to send its forces across the border or dropping bombs "without good intelligence."

As a matter of fact, the United States has shared "lots of intelligence" with the Turks for a long time, but has stepped up the intelligence-sharing recently, Morrell said.

"We have given them intelligence with regards to this situation for a long time. We have given them more and more intelligence as a result of their recent concerns."

The U.S. government urged the Turkish government to show more restraint on operations against the PKK, and Iraq to take action against the outlawed militants.

Stressing that the United States regards the PKK as a terrorist organization, State Secretary spokesman Sean McCormack said that the best way to solve the issue "is for the Turks and the Iraqis to work together to mitigate it and eliminate it."

Despite reports that the U.S. military has considered launching cruise missiles against PKK targets, top U.S. commander in northern Iraq Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon said on Friday that his forces will do "absolutely nothing" to the PKK.

He reaffirmed that U.S. forces should not be involved in the ongoing fight between PKK and Turkey and the issue should be settled through diplomacy.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, launched an armed campaign for an ethnic homeland in the mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking decades of strife that has claimed more than 30,000 lives.

Source: Xinhua



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