U.S. Considers Unusual Arms Deal for Turkey

By Jim Wolf 

WASHINGTON (Reuters)–The Obama administration is consulting Congress on an unusual proposal to transfer U.S. Marine Corps attack helicopters to Turkey, U.S. officials said on Oct. 27, as Ankara tries to exact revenge for a major attack by Kurdish separatists.

An AH-1 SuperCobra helicopter

Turkey, a NATO ally, has been seeking AH-1 SuperCobra helicopters to replace those lost in its long struggle against separatist rebels from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

Under the administration’s plan, the Marines would get two new, late-model Textron Inc Bell AH-1Z SuperCobras in exchange for the three AH-1W aircraft that would be transferred to Ankara from current inventory, a congressional official said.

The officials declined to be identified because of the matter’s sensitivity and because they were not authorized to speak on the record. The idea to take weapons from the U.S. arsenal was rare, they said.

The proposal has been held up amid lawmakers’ questions about increasingly distant relations between Muslim-majority Turkey and Israel, a key U.S. ally, among other matters.

The AH-1W has sold previously for about $10 million. Turkey bought 10 of them in the 1990s. The larger, twin-engine AH-IZ may sell for about $30 million, according to industry sources.

Under the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, the executive branch must provide 15 days’ formal notice to Congress before going ahead with significant arms transfers to a NATO partner. It was not immediately clear when such notice might take place, with informal congressional consultations continuing.

Turkey last week launched air and ground assaults on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, vowing to exact “great revenge” after 24 Turkish troops were killed on Oct. 19 in one of the deadliest Kurdish attacks in years.

The PKK is designated a terrorist group by the United States. It is waging a 27-year-old war from bases inside Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region. The administration’s proposal to transfer the helicopters pre-dates the October 19 attack on Turkish forces near the border with Iraq.

The United States and Turkey have a strong tradition of military cooperation, both bilaterally and inside the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Turkey agreed last month to host a powerful U.S.-supplied radar system to act as advanced eyes for a layered shield against ballistic missiles coming from outside Europe.

The AN/TPY-2 surveillance radar in Turkey will boost the shield’s capability against Iran, which Washington alleges is seeking to build nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles written and submitted by members of the community, which make up our community bulletin board.


  1. Awake Americans
    Your politics will fail everywhere…
    Because you never listen
    To genocided nations 
    Who lost every cell
    Since 1915…2600 churches and schools 
    are vanished there…
    In Anatolia…In Ottoman’s graves  
    Do you know this information…
    Or you blind your eyes for the facts
    That can be seen even under the moon light 
    Awake don’t spend your tax payers sweat..
    Why to sell helectobers for a nation 
    Who wants rto kill another race
    Birthed before them 
    Clever kind…with beautiful hearts 
    They sufferered under scavengers after christ…
    Called minorities but the fact is
    They are the majorities
    How can you vanish 15 million hearts
    The way you vanished Armenians…
    Who build your homes your minarets
    For you to pray day and night…


  2. Sylva,

    What IS your problem?!!! You need to chill out!! The PKK are TERRORISTS!!! You should know well about terrorism, shouldn’t you!!! The world witnessed three decades of your kind of terror!!! 

  3. Yes, it is ‘perfectly understandable’ for the, United States, the self-declared champion of democracy and ‘peace’ loving nation, to assist a FAKE country, Turkey with ,Weapons of Mass Destruction, exceeding over billions of dollars each year (compliments of Armenian-American tax payers), with which Turrkey uses them to kill thousands of innocent Kurd civilians. Now, providing weapons to that fake country is A OKEY and acceptable by the so-called civilized Americans, no problemo here, nobody has a beef with that. Then, a fabricated news leaks out allegedly the Armenian government had sold weapons to Iran, and somehow it had ended in Iraq with which a U.S. Occupational soldier was shot dead., and all hell breaks loose. The ‘Armenian friendly’  U.S.media has a field day by criticizing the Armenians and the government of Armenia over a fabricated tale.

     So, we Armenians are demanding from this aggressiveand bully nation to recognize the Armenian Genocide?  This same bully nation who invades and destroys other nations, and who arms another bully nation(Turkey) to bully and intimidate its neighbors with U.S. supplied weapons? Think about it.

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