U.S. Supports Ankara’s Fight Against PKK
August 18, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (UPI) — Washington stands by its allies in Turkey as it tackles the threat of militants in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the U.S. State Department said.
After eight Turkish soldiers were killed in an attack by militants in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known by the initials PKK, Ankara announced there would be no quarter for the group even during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Turkey since the 1980s has been locked in battle with the PKK, labeled as a terrorist group by the State Department.
Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said Washington was “deeply saddened” by the deaths of Turkish soldiers this week in southern Hakkari province.
“We stand with Turkey in its fight against the PKK, a designated terrorist organization, which has claimed tens of thousands of Turkish lives,” she said. “We support Turkey in its fight against terror and we will continue to work with the government of Turkey to combat terrorism in all forms.”
The U.S. military has said it shared intelligence with Ankara about PKK activity in Iraq. Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reports the Turkish military carried out a series of strikes against PKK targets late Wednesday.
“An aerial assault against 60 predetermined targets belonging to the separatist organization was completed successfully,” a military report was quoted by the newspaper as saying.