U.S. halts secretive drone program with Turkey - media

U.S. halts secretive drone program with Turkey - media

The United States has halted a secretive military intelligence cooperation program with Turkey that for years helped Ankara target Kurdish PKK militants, Reuters reported citing four U.S. officials.

The U.S. military had carried out the missions using unarmed drone aircraft, which one official said were flown out of Turkey’s Incirlik air base, where the U.S. military has a significant presence.  

The U.S. decision to indefinitely suspend the program was made in response to Turkey’s cross-border military incursion into Syria in October, the U.S. officials said.

The U.S. officials said the United States late last year stopped flying the intelligence collection missions that targeted the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which both the U.S. and Turkey classify as terrorists.

A State Department spokesperson said the United States does not comment on intelligence matters. Officials from the Turkish defense ministry did not respond to a request for comment as well.

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