Weapons that were originally given to Iraqi security forces by the American military have been recovered over the past year by the authorities in Turkey after being used in violent attacks in that country, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
The discovery that serial numbers on pistols and other weapons PKK used in Turkey matched those USA distributed to Iraqi police units, says Pentagon.
It was also a factor in the decision to dispatch the department's inspector general to Iraq next week to investigate the problem, the officials said.
Pentagon officials said they did not yet have evidence that Iraqi security forces or Kurdish officials were selling or giving the weapons to PKK, as Turkish officials have contended.
It was possible, they said, that the weapons had been stolen or lost during firefights and smuggled into Turkey after being sold in Iraq's extensive black market for firearms. Officials gave widely varied estimates — from dozens to hundreds — of how many American-supplied weapons had been found in Turkey.
Over the past year, inquiries by federal oversight agencies have found serious discrepancies in military records of where thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces actually ended up.
Turkish officials have complained in recent months that Kurdish officials in senior positions in the Iraq government, including Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan region, are actively supporting the Kurdish Workers Party, known as the PKK. Barzani and other Kurdish officials say they do not support attacks by the PKK into Turkey.
At the Pentagon on Wednesday, Morrell claimed, "If American-issued weapons have ended up in the hands of criminals in Turkey or terrorists in Turkey, that is not based upon the policy of this department or this government."
Last Mod: 31 Ağustos 2007, 07:24