Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Blood Price For The US Support To Turkey's PKK Operation: A Military Base Against Iran

by Mehmet Yaman (source: ANF Fırat News Agency)

Editor's note: This was translated from Turkish by Cem Ertür from CASMII.

Having given no support to Turkey's struggle against the PKK for a long time, the US supported the Turkish army's recent bombing of the Qandil Mountain.

The reason behind this support is becoming clear now: An agreement made between the US, Turkey and the Federal Administration of South Kurdistan for the construction in South and North Kurdistan [i.e. Northern Iraq and Southeastern Turkey respectively] of two strategic US military bases targeting Iran.

According to a military specialist who trained Kurdish Special Security Forces in Salahaddin, a military base has already been established on the strategically important Korek Mountain in the Diyana (Soran) district of South Kurdistan. A specialist team consisting of seven US and Israeli staff members set up the connection of new satellite systems and powerful radar receptors and dealt with technical organisation.

The US dispatched the equipment for this base via Turkish territory. Entry to and exit from the Korek mountain area was banned before the launch of the construction work, with the exception of US and Israeli specialists and the special teams that support them. A US-trained 1,500-strong red beret Peshmerga force was deployed in the area surrounding the high-security base.

Before the US intervention on Iraq, the Turkish intelligence agency MIT was operating in the region to collect intelligence by intercepting communication between guerillas. An Israeli newspaper has previously reported that the US was establishing a military base a few kilometers from the Iraq- Iran border.

The Wall Street Journal came up with a similar news item on September 11, 2007. Images of the base are being published for the first time by the ANF Fırat News Agency. A second team reportedly began its activities for setting up, with Turkey's approval, a similar military base in the Yüksekova district (province of Hakkari, Turkey) near the Iranian border. Although the technical devices aren't installed yet, similar work is being carried out there as well. Sepelke region is also being used for the two bases. According to the political analysts in the region, if the ongoing US-Israeli intelligence and reconnaissance work on the PKK will be successful, then this will also be applied to Iran in different ways. For that reason, the phase that began with the provision to Turkey of intelligence on PKK seeks to achieve strategically important results in the medium- and long-term. The first step in that direction was made during a meeting at the Khanzad Hotel which is located between Hewler [Arbil] and Salahaddin. In that meeting, it was agreed that in return for receiving intelligence on the Qandil area, Turkey would refrain from harsh statements and threats against the Kurdish administration and provide support for the construction of the military bases targeting Iran and Syria.

original link:

Commentary by a Kurdish friend:

Salahaddin is a short drive outside of Hewler (Irbil) and the Khanzad Hotel sits on a small hill about halfway between the two, overlooking the road that links Salahaddin and Hewler. Salahaddin is basically a Barzani family personal stronghold. If the Israelis are truly involved with this (and I have no reason to doubt that they are), then it is logical they would have worked through the Barzanis given the old history between the two.

Hakkari-Yuksekova is right on the border with Iran and it's pretty close to the Iraqi (S. Kurdistan) border as well.