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The motives behind Turkey's decision to reveal US military intel

Turkish anger over US weapons being used by the Kurdistan Workers Party against its soldiers may be the leading cause behind the leak by its state-run news agency.
Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) head a convoy of U.S military vehicles in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTS14EFY

On July 17, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency (known as AA in Turkey) published an article prepared by three reporters titled “US increases military posts supporting PKK/PYD in Syria,” in reference to the Kurdistan Workers Party and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party. The report revealed crucial information on some of the US bases and on French and American soldiers in the region. The article and a detailed map appeared in AA’s English version on July 18. On July 19, the leak spread to international media outlets. The US military told the press that publishing such sensitive information was “professionally irresponsible.”

Ankara seems to have heard the Pentagon’s concerns. Interestingly, the AA story did not make it to the government’s social media trolls. Indeed, only a few short pieces can be found in Islamist media bragging about the leaks.

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