Turkey considers airships to combat PKK

Oct. 25, 2012 at 5:04 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Turkey's struggle with the Kurdish PKK has intensified.

The civil war in Syria has added a dimension to Turkey's struggle with the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish initials PKK and which began its armed struggle in 1974.

PKK guerrillas have reportedly been infiltrating into Turkey from Syria, whose regime is strongly opposed to Turkish efforts to oust the presidency of Bashar Assad.

The PKK has increasingly targeted Turkish energy assets, including the $3.6 billion, 1 million barrel per day, 1,092-mile Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, as well as the Kirkuk-Yumurtalık pipeline.

To counter the threat, Turkish armed forces have expressed interest in acquiring airships such as those used by the United States army along the U.S.-Mexican border and in Afghanistan, Hurriyet newspaper reported.

Both U.S. and Israeli firms produced observation airships.

Should the Turkish military acquire the dirigibles, they will be modified with the attachment of radar and optical systems produced by Turkey's leading defense technology firm Aselsan.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
B-52 bombers demo long reach of U.S. air power
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report
Kenyan bishop warns Obama against pro-gay policy
Duma approves construction of $4 billion bridge to Crimea
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seeking new trial for Boston Marathon bombing