WASHINGTON – The U.S. military has started giving more intelligence — "lots of intelligence" — to Turkey to help it against rebels staging cross-border attacks from their hiding places in neighboring Iraq, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Turkey has complained for months about what it has said is a lack of U.S. support against the rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish acronym PKK. And Ankara has threatened a full-scale ground attack into northern Iraq if the U.S. and Iraqi officials don't do something about the rebels.
"We have given them more and more intelligence as a result of the recent concerns," said Defense Department Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.
"There has been an increased level of intelligence sharing as a result of this," he told Pentagon reporters Wednesday. He did not say specifically when the increase started.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested last week that airstrikes or major ground assaults by U.S., Turkish, or other forces wouldn't help much because not enough is known about where the rebels are at a given time.
Asked during a NATO meeting in Europe about the prospects of U.S. military strikes, Gates said: "Without good intelligence, just sending large numbers of troops across the border or dropping bombs doesn't seem to make much sense to me."