Kurdish rebels
Photo: AFP
Israeli Heron drone
Photo: AFP
Turkish report: Israel aiding Kurdish rebels
Intelligence officials claim Israeli drones collected data that helped Kurdish rebels set up training bases in Syria-Turkey border, Today's Zaman reports

Turkish intelligence officials accuse Israel of aiding the Kurdish rebel group PKK, Turkish daily Today's Zaman reported on Tuesday.


The paper quoted intelligence officials as saying that Israeli drone activity has been detected in the Hatay and Adana provinces in recent months, and that the unmanned aerial vehicles collected intelligence for the Kurdish rebels.


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Turkish intelligence officials have drafted a report detailing the activity of the drones, after two were recently detected flying over the country.


According to the report, PKK training bases in northern Syria, near the Turkish border, "Were set up in areas that are known to be weakspots for the Turkish military, after they obtained intelligence collected by the drones."


The intelligence report also charged that Kenan Yıldızbakan, a senior PKK member who commanded the 2010 attack against a Turkish Navy base in Iskenderun, visited Israel several times.


In recent years, several media outlets reported Israeli activity in support of the Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. An Iranian TV network claimed Israel deployed drones and intelligence officers in the cities of Kirkuk and Mosul.


The Iranian Foreign Minister has also accused Israel and the United States of supporting the rebels.


In 2004, the New Yorker weekly magazine reported that hundreds of Israelis, including Mossad agents, were stationed in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq in order to collect intelligence on Iran's nuclear program and also to help the Kurdish minority in Syria.






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