US canceled delivery of Predators on disclosure of agents

US Congress decided not to accept Ankara's request because of the close relations between MİT and the Iran intelligence service, Turkish Daily claims

US canceled delivery of Predators on disclosure of agents

The United States Congress canceled the delivery to Turkey of 10 Predators -- unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are proving crucial in combating terrorism -- following Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan's disclosure of the identity of 10 Iranians who had been working for Mossad with the Iranian intelligence service, according to the Taraf daily.

The daily reported that the claims about Fidan can be traced back to the year after the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 when the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) suspended relations with Israel's intelligence agency Mossad and shared information about the Israeli agency with Iran.

Reacting to Turkey's move, the US canceled the delivery to Turkey of 10 Predators. Turkey was expecting the Predators in June of last year, but the US Congress decided not to accept Ankara's request because of the close relations between MİT and the Iran intelligence service.

According to Turkish government sources, the timing of the release of news against Fidan in the US press is related to the fact that NATO member Turkey has chosen a Chinese defense firm sanctioned by Washington to co-produce a $4 billion long-range air and missile defense system, rejecting rival bids from Russian, US and European firms.

The second fact concerning the timing of the news reports about Fidan is the suspension of a military intervention in Syria and agreement between US President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin on the destruction of chemical weapons. In the event of a possible intervention, the CIA, Mossad and MİT were planning to work together and Turkey was expected to play an important role in directing the Syrian opposition. The suspension of the intervention decreased the need for intelligence sharing between the agencies.

The claims that MİT informed the Iranian intelligence service about Mossad's 10 Iranian agents do not fully cover the truth, however. Taraf's report stated that the Iranian agents were uncovered within the scope of another operation, but Israel and the US put the blame on Fidan for the disclosure of the identities of the Iranian agents.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has rejected the claims about Turkey's intelligence chief as being “untrue” and a bad example of “black propaganda.” He said the claims about Fidan do not reflect the truth and that the first duty of a spy chief is to take the necessary measures for the security of the country. Stressing that the content and timing of a series of news reports about Fidan in Western media outlets were important, the foreign minister added that claims about the intelligence chief also indicated how well he executed his duties.

Ankara expects new reports against Fidan in the Western media to be released in the following days as part of “the war between intelligences.” A senior bureaucrat told Taraf that MİT was a substitute player in the past, but it has become one of the playmakers in the international arena.

Regarding the claims by The Washington Post columnist David Ignatius about Turkey sharing intelligence with Iran, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki declined to comment directly on The Washington Post story on Thursday, saying the US has not changed its position on its relationship with Turkey.

During a daily press briefing on Thursday, Psaki said: “We work closely with Turkey. It is a close ally. We work with Turkey on a range of issues, including counterterrorism. We're in close contact with a range of officials at all levels, including the Turkish intelligence chief.” She declined to answer a question as to whether the US was concerned that Turkey may be hindering Israel from getting intelligence about Iran.

The Predators are important for Turkey to maintain its fight against terrorism. In previous years the US press also covered the necessity of Predators for Turkey. In September of last year The Washington Post stated that US unmanned aircraft have swiftly become the leading tactical weapons against terrorist groups around the world. The US Congress's rejection of the delivery of 10 Predators to Turkey is interpreted as punishment of Turkey for sharing information about Mossad with the Iranian intelligence service.

Cihan

Last Mod: 22 Ekim 2013, 14:45
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