WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- A delegation from the U.S. Defense Department is on its way to Turkey to help with counter-terrorism efforts, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said.
Turkey ramped up efforts against the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish initials PKK, following a series of high-profile attacks in the Kurdish south of the country. Turkish lawmakers early this year backed a measure permitting cross-border raids into northern Iraq to strike PKK targets there.
Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, told reporters during her regular news briefing that Washington was a strong Turkish ally in counter-terrorism.
"We have a Defense Department-led interagency delegation en route to Turkey to have bilateral consultations on how we might be able to strengthen U.S.-Turkish bilateral cooperation in the counter-terrorism field," she said.
The U.S. military in Iraq at the height of the war there had shared intelligence with Ankara about PKK activity in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman reports that its first unmanned aerial vehicle, dubbed Phoenix, is slated for service against the PKK "as soon as possible."
The Phoenix can fly for 24 hours at a time, has a wingspan of 56 feet and can fly at altitudes of 30,000 feet. The Turkish newspaper reports that its primary use would be to watch for militants trying to enter Turkey from northern Iraq.