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US suspends intelligence-gathering program that targeted Kurdish PKK

The U.S. military has halted a secret military intelligence cooperation program with Turkey that for years was used to aid Ankara in targeting the Kurdish Workers Party or PKK, according to a report by Reuters.

Four U.S. officials, who spoke to Reuters on the condition their names not be used, claimed that the suspension of the program is in response to Turkey’s cross-border military incursion into Syria in October.

Turkey crossed the border as part of a clash with Kurdish groups that had been in control of that area of Syria and were allied with the United States.

The PKK is designed as a terrorist group by the U.S., but the Kurds in Iraq and Syria have long been U.S. allies and the Turkish incursion angered lawmakers in both parties. President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats tear into Trump’s speech: It was a ‘MAGA rally’ READ: Speaker Pelosi’s response to Trump’s State of the Union address Pelosi hammers Trump’s speech: ‘A manifesto of mistruths’ MORE had signaled his agreement with the Turkish move, though he warned the country not to go too far.

The Pentagon did not offer a specific comment to Reuters on its report, saying it would not provide details on operational matters.

“We have supported Turkey in their fight against the PKK in many ways for decades. As a matter of policy, we do not provide details on operational matters,” a Pentagon spokeswoman told Reuters.

The missions program, in place since 2007, was carried out by using unarmed drone aircraft and flown out of Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base. 


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