The US ambassador to Turkey has revealed that Washington secretly offered Ankara to have an “anti-bin Laden” type of joint operation against a number of military leaders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
On Tuesday, Francis Ricciardone revealed to Turkish journalists that the US had offered Turkey its military technology to hunt down the PKK leaders.
However, the Turkish government turned down the offer, saying it would continue battling with the PKK “on the basis of its laws and experiences.”
The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.
Ankara has carried out several military operations against the PKK in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan also confirmed on October 16 that he had rejected the offer on a rather technical basis.
Erdogan recalled the US operation near the Pakistani capital Islamabad in May 2011 that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.
“Bin Laden was caught in a house,” said the Turkish premier, adding, “But the struggle here is in mountainous geography.”
This is reportedly the second disclosed secret offer of assistance by the US.
Rescue workers try to save people trapped under debris after an earthquake in a village near the eastern Turkish city of Van Oct. 23. Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory estimates that some 500 to 1,000 people were killed in a powerful earthquake in southeast Turkey’s Van province on Sunday. Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay told reporters some 10 buildings had collapsed in Van city and around 25-30 buildings collapsed in the nearby district of Ercis. (Reuters)