Israel to send 4 drones to Turkey

Report: Officials visited Israel to close deal on surveillance planes.

[illustrative] Israel drone 311 IAF (photo credit: Courtesy: IAF [illustrative])
[illustrative] Israel drone 311 IAF
(photo credit: Courtesy: IAF [illustrative])
Israel is set to send four 'Heron' drone airplanes to Turkey in August according to military sources in Ankara, Army Radio reported Wednesday.
According to the report, senior Turkish military officials visited Israel recently to negotiate the closing details of the deal.
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The 'Heron" drones are unmanned aircraft used for gathering surveillance.
Earlier this month the New York Times reported that a delegation of Turks visited Israel in order to be trained on operating the aircraft.  According to the report, the training had originally been taking place in Turkey. But following the raid on the Gaza flotilla and the ensuing fallout between the countries, the instructors were called home.
Turkey unveiled its own drone airplanes last week in a move that would apparently allow Ankara to sever an important link with Israel which has been its source of drones in the past.  Turkey is dependent on the drones to gather surveillance over the rugged mountains where Kurdish rebels are waging a deadly insurgency.
However the success of the Turkish drone is not yet assured, which would explain Turkey's completion of the deal with Israel despite recent tensions between the two countries over the May 31 flotilla raid in which nine Turkish activists were killed.
A travel advisory warning Israelis not to travel to Turkey which was issued after the flotilla incident was rescinded on Tuesday.
The Counter Terrorism Bureau stated that the situation in Turkey has eased up and Israelis were no longer in direct danger.