Source: Washington – Reuters
On Wednesday, US officials confirmed that Washington had frozen a secret intelligence program for drones with Turkey because of the Ankara incursion into Syria last October.
4 US officials said that the United States suspended a secret program of cooperation in the field of military intelligence with Turkey after it had helped Ankara for years to target PKK fighters.
The officials revealed that the US decision to suspend the program indefinitely was taken in response to Turkey’s military incursion across the border into Syria in
October, revealing the damage to relations between the two NATO members due to this incursion.
On October 6, Turkey, along with pro-Syrian factions, launched an offensive against Kurdish-backed US fighters, which began two days after Washington withdrew its forces from border areas. The attacking units managed to rapidly advance and control a 120-km-long border strip that ran from Tal Abyad (Al-Raqqa) to Ras Al-Ain.
A subsequent agreement reached by US Vice President Mike Pence in Ankara stipulated that Turkey would “suspend” hostilities in northeastern Syria, that Kurdish fighters withdraw from a “buffer zone” at a depth of 32 kilometers.
On October 23, Turkey announced that “there is no need” to resume its offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria after the truce ended, noting that the United States had informed it that the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the border areas had been “completed”. “At this stage, there is no need to implement a new operation,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The Turkish announcement came after long discussions in the Russian city of Sochi between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The two sides signed an agreement of 10 items that Putin described as Al-Masry, and stipulated the conduct of joint patrols on the Syrian-Turkish border.