'Israel  Mossad

Israel trains PKK militants in Iraq'

Tue Jun 8, 2010 9:39PM
PKK militants in northern Iraq, AFP photo
The director of a Turkish think tank says Israel trains the armed men with the anti-Ankara militant group, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.

The head of the International Strategic Research Organization, Sedat Laciner, said the Israeli Spy Agency's (Mossad) operatives and the Israeli military's retirees had been sighted providing training to PKK militants in Iraq's Kurdistan, Turkey-based English-language newspaper Today's Zaman said on Sunday.

The Turkish academic held that PKK's major operations in big cities bear the hallmark of Israel and said, "These terrorist were trained by Israeli intelligence officers on how to best penetrate cities."

Laciner said Tel Aviv does not have a positive perception of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and thus tries to paint a radical picture of it. "The PKK is a mere contractor for Israel to serve that purpose," he explained.

Laciner said some Israeli groups work with PKK, using its offshoot, Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK). The latter terrorist group has carried out several deadly attacks against Iranian nationals and security forces inside Iran.

More than 40,000 people have lost their lives since the militant group launched its armed campaign against Ankara in 1984, as part of a quest to establish an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey.

Raising serious concerns among the Turkish authorities was the PKK's slaughter of seven Turkish soldiers in a rocket attack on a naval base in the southern province of Hatay on May 31.

Turkey's intelligence organizations are also looking to see whether the attack was linked to the Israeli military's onslaught on a Turkish-backed relief mission which had set out to break Tel Aviv's siege of the Gaza Strip. The assault in international waters killed at least 20 people, including eight Turks and a US national of Turkish origin.

The leader of Turkey's Felicity Party, Numan Kurtulmus said "...I hope it was a coincidence that Israel began to attack the ship after a brutal attack on a Turkish Naval Forces base in Iskenderun..."