U.S. offers reward for information on senior PKK figures

The United States said that it is offering up to $5 million for information leading to the identification or location of three senior members of the PKK militant group
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 20:30

The United States on Tuesday offered rewards for information on three senior members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long armed conflict in Turkey.

On Tuesday, Washington authorised rewards of up to $5 million for information "leading to the identification or location" of Murat Karayılan, up to $4 million for Cemil Bayık and up to $3 million for Duran Kalkan.

The announcement was made by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara following a visit by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer.

“The U.S. values its counterterrorism cooperation with our NATO Ally Turkey. As part of my visit, I am pleased to announce that the @StateDept @Rewards4Justice program is targeting three senior members of the terrorist organization #PKK," Palmer said, according to the embassy's Twitter account.

"Provide information and payment may be possible. 100% confidentiality guaranteed. Relocation may be possible," the U.S. State Department program titled "Rewards for Justice" said in a separate tweet.

Turkey has been infuriated by U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militant, an extension of the outlawed PKK.

Relations between Ankara and Washington have begun to thaw since the release from jail last month of American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson.

Last week, the two countries mutually lifted sanctions on government officials, imposed in August over the Brunson case. Washington announced this week that Turkey would receive a temporary waiver from reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan also said on Tuesday that talks with the United States regarding state-owned lender Halkbank, which had been facing a U.S. fine over evasion of sanctions on Iran.

U.S. and Turkish troops last week began conducting joint patrols in Syria's Manbij, which the two sides have agreed to clear of militants. Turkey had previously said the United States was delaying implementation of the plan.

Trump and Erdoğan are to meet this weekend at a summit in Paris.