|07ANKARA217||2007-02-01 16:26:00||SECRET//NOFORN||Embassy Ankara|
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S E C R E T ANKARA 000217
1. (U) Action Request at para. 4.
2. (S/NF) In the context of January 30-31 talks in Ankara on
countering PKK terrorism from northern Iraq, Turkish anti-PKK
envoy Edip Baser raised several specific allegations
concerning U.S. activities in Iraq in a private meeting with
U.S. Special Envoy Ralston and Ambassador. He requested U.S.
officials investigate these issues and respond to the GOT.
These allegations include:
-- Turkish officials claim they have evidence U.S. military
authorities met in December 2006 with PKK leader Murat
Karayilan at Shivadiza (as heard) in northern Iraq. U.S.
military personnel reportedly discussed a two-month training
course for 300 PKK terrorists who could be used as an
"emergency force." Training was to start January 15 at four
camps in the area. Baser admitted the report was not
-- Baser said Turkey believes a U.S. military team visited
offices of the Kurdistan Free Life Party (a PKK front party)
on December 22 in Beradalan (as heard), northern Iraq, and
provided weapons, clothing, money and unspecified other
material to party officials. He admitted that this
information was unconfirmed as well.
-- Between November 22, 2006 and January 23, 2007, Turkish
authorities in the Turkey-Iraq border area reported 286
"flights" of unidentified aircraft, possibly UAVs,
originating in Iraq and crossing deep into Turkish airspace.
The unidentified aircraft reportedly flew at 22 thousand
meters (sic) and maneuvered in unusual ways. The Turks were
unable to pick them up on radar; only visual sightings were
made. Ambassador told Baser that we have repeatedly raised
the issue of UAV flights with relevant USG agencies and have
been assured they are not ours. (Note: We believe that 286
refers to a claimed number of sightings, not individual
flights. Turkish military officials receive the daily
Coalition Air Tasking Order (ATO) in order to give the
Turkish air force better visibility over Coalition aircraft
operating near the Turkish border in northern Iraq. End Note.)
-- Baser asked if the U.S. is building a military base at
Karadaga near Suleymaniye in northern Iraq.
3. (S/NF) Comment. The fact that Baser raised these
allegations with General Ralston suggests that, justifiably
or not, Turkish officials see a connection between them and
PKK terrorism coming from northern Iraq. End Comment.
4. (C) Action Request. Post requests guidance on how to
respond to the above allegations. Post recommends that CJCS
be prepared to respond should CHOD Buyukanit raise them
during his February 11-17 visit to Washington.
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