Turkish outlet reports US blowback after exposing Israeli spies

Turkish daily reports US Congress may have halted major weapons sale to Turkey after willingly unmasked Israeli spies working in Iran.

October 23, 2013 01:01
1 minute read.
US predator drone

US predator drone_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

WASHINGTON – Members of the US Congress may have halted a major weapons sale to Turkey after its government willingly unmasked Israeli spies working in Iran, according to Taraf, a Turkish daily newspaper.

The sale of 10 Predator drones was canceled in June 2012, the report claims, after fallout from the siege of the Mavi Marmara ship in 2010 led to historic lows in the relationship between Ankara and Jerusalem.

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The two nations only began mending relations in March after US President Barack Obama facilitated a conciliatory call between Prime Ministers Binyamin Netanyahu and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on proposed arms sales or transfers until the completion of Congressional notifications as required under the Arms Export Control Act,” a State Department official told The Jerusalem Post. “We refer you to the Turkish government for details on their future defense procurement decisions.”

Capitol Hill staff was unable to confirm this new report on the weapons sale cancellation.

Last week, The Washington Post reported that after the Mavi Marmara incident, Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan informed Tehran of Mossad spies working throughout Iran.

“We see this media campaign as an attack and there might be an Israeli effort behind it,” a Turkish intelligence source told local media. “Especially after the Washington Post story on October 17 and the followups with Jerusalem bylines.”

Zaman, a Turkish news site, claims that Fidan is being targeted now by media outlets after Turkey awarded a $4 billion contract to a Chinese defense firm over its Western counterparts.

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