US Defense: "No comment about intelligence
in Roboski massacre", Turkey denies report on U.S.
U.S. Defense: "No comment".
Turkish army denied U.S. provided intelligence on
Roboski. Turkish PM denies WSJ Uludere report.
The U.S. Department of Defense press secretary
George E. Little Photo: Defense.gov. •
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo:
Locals gather in front of the bodies of people who
were killed in a warplane attack in the Ortasu
village of Uludere, in the Sirnak province [Turkey
Kurdistan], on December 29, 2011. Turkish warplanes
killed 34 Kurdish villagers in an air strike near
the Iraqi Kurdistan border. Photo: EPA.
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May 18, 2012
WASHINGTON, — The U.S. Department of
Defense press secretary George E. Little has
answered question on the Wall Street Journal
report about the intelligence
provided by American drones to Turkish army on 28
December 2011 when Turkish war planes
village of Roboski killing 34 civilian Kurds, ANF
News agency reported.
Little said "we are obviously aware of The Wall
Street Journal's story. And what I can say about the
story is that while I won't comment on intelligence
sharing with our Turkish allies, we have an enduring
and very strong military-to-military relationship
with Turkey". The Defense press secretary added that
"we work with Turkey across a wide range of national
security challenges. And they're of course an
important NATO partner".
Little stressed "the importance of counter-PKK
efforts is critical, as the secretary indicated
during his trip to Turkey last year. And we will
continue to work with Turkey on counter-PKK efforts
and on other challenges".
Reporters though were not keen to leave the issue
there and asked whether the report was in fact "a
Little replied "Is it a leak? Well, I don't know
where this report came from, and I'm not going to
comment one way or another on intelligence. Do leaks
happen? Leaks happen, regrettably".
Asked how the report will affect your cooperation
with Turkey? Little replied that "We have an
strong alliance with Turkey. They're an important
part of NATO, we have an important bilateral and
security relationship with Turkey, and we're going
to continue to work closely with Turkey on a range
of issues that we think are important to both
The Wall Street Journal replied today to the press
release issued by Turkish military stating that
"Quoting a Pentagon after-action report, the Journal
said a U.S. Predator drone spotted a group of men
and pack animals and passed the footage to Turkey's
military. The Turks identified the convoy as Kurdish
militant fighters and took the decision to strike
using jets from its air force".
The paper continues by adding that "The Pentagon
assessment describes only the role of the Predator
and doesn't address the issue of whether Turkey may
also have been tracking the convoy".
The Turkish military statement said: "The first
detected visual image of the group in the incident
was made by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle belonging to
the Turkish Armed Forces," adding that details have
been passed to officials investigating the matter.
The Wall Street Journal says that "The statement
didn't make any mention of a U.S. role. Turkey's
military and defense ministry have previously said
intelligence leading to the strike came exclusively
from domestic sources. Turkey's military and three
government departments declined to comment for that
Turkish army denied U.S.
provided intelligence on Roboski
Turkish General Staff released a statement regarding
the Wall Street Journal news on 16 May, which stated
‘intelligence on Roboski was provided by U.S. drones’.
Underlining that the WSJ news doesn’t reflect the
truth, the General Staff claimed that the first
intelligence related to the Uludere attack was taken
by Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles.
In a press statement before the U.S. visit for the
NATO summit, Turkish President Abdullah Gül also
evaluated the news about ‘intelligence on Roboski’.
“We should trust our national sources - he said -
and believe the statement made by our authorities in
this respect. We received intelligence from external
sources after making the first determinations by our
own means. This is an ordinary process as we are in
cooperation with the U.S. in the fight against
Turkish PM denies WSJ
A recent WSJ report that said U.S. aerial vehicles
provided the intelligence that precipitated the
December 2011 Uludere massacre was "made up,”
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has
said, according to private broadcaster NTV, and
reported by Turkish Hurriyet dailynews.
"The Armed Forces already made a statement [about
the report]. Unmanned air vehicles work directly
under the Turkish army's command,” Erdoğan was
quoted as saying by NTV today. "We acted on our own
The legal process on the issue is continuing,
The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem,
Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.
Since it was established in 1984, the Kurdistan
Workers' Party PKK has been
fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the
constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a
Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous
and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who
constitute the greatest minority in Turkey,
numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's
Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees,
lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the
way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within
Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader
Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against
the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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