ANKARA - The United States has agreed in principle to deploy US Predator drones on Turkish soil to aid in the fight against Kurdish separatist rebels, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said.
The US military flies unarmed surveillance Predators based in Iraq and shares images and vital intelligence with Turkey to aid Ankara as it battles Kurdish Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels who have camps in northern Iraq.
Erdogan, speaking to reporters in New York on Friday where he attended a UN General Assembly, said Turkey has offered to buy or lease the drones and that details are being worked out.
US troops are due to leave Iraq at the end of 2011. Turkish officials have expressed concern the PKK, which has bases in northern Iraq, might exploit any security vacuum left by the departure of the US military from Iraq.