Former-CIA source: Mystery air strikes on ISIS were by Turkish air force, not U.S.

Former-CIA source: Mystery air strikes on ISIS were by Turkish air force, not U.S.

[Ed. – Hmm.  This is destabilizing rather than the reverse.  If you were Russia or Iran, you’d want to know who the hell was dropping bombs in northern Iraq.  Now, maybe whoever did it quietly told them.  But going forward, it’s going to be harder and harder for modern publics to have confidence in what our governments are doing if these things are shadowy and lied about routinely.]

A former high ranking CIA official in Baghdad tells Newsweek that Turkish jets carried out airstrikes on Islamic State (I.S.) militants threatening Kurdish refugees–an assertion that Ankara denies. …

Kurdish TV claimed earlier in a day of conflicting reports that American jets had carried out the strikes on Islamic State position outside the town of Kalak, 25 miles northwest of Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

“The Turks are doing it,” said the former CIA officer, who maintains close contacts in Iraq, especially with Kurdish authorities. “There’s no question about it,” he said on condition of anonymity until he could gather more corroboration from his sources in the region. “But certainly we are giving them targeting data.”

The CIA did not immediately respond to a request for clarification. …

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby emphatically denied U.S. jets had carried out the strikes, calling reports of such “completely false.”

“No such action was taken,” Kirby said in a tweet.

The Turkish military denied local Kurdish media reports that Turkish planes entered Iraqi airspace to track the extremist movement’s forces, Bloomberg reported, citing a one-sentence statement on its web site. …

Turkish F-16s were said to be patrolling the skies over the area.

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