Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Turkey says U.S. intelligence led to Iraq raids

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence shared with Turkey led to the weekend raids in northern Iraq on Kurdish militants, Turkey's ambassador to the United States said on Wednesday.

"There is no doubt that this operation was possible due to, of course, the information shared by the United States of America," Turkey's ambassador Nabi Sensoy told reporters.

He declined to say whether the United States had directly pinpointed targets for Turkish warplanes but he said the U.S. intelligence-sharing was very important.

The Pentagon has said Washington gave Turkey intelligence to track Kurdish fighters hiding in Iraq, but would not say whether it gave precise targets used in the raids.

The ambassador said the Turkish offensive in northern Iraq on Sunday involved about 50 fighter jets that launched two waves of attacks against positions of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.

He said the attacks had seriously damaged infrastructure used by the PKK.

"This must be a strong message to the PKK terrorists that the Turkish military is capable of tracking them down wherever they might be under any weather conditions, any time of the year," Sensoy said.........

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