Thu, 17 Apr 2008 03:04:33
"Analysts say the anti-Iranian groups are tempting assets for the US," wrote the newspaper on Tuesday. "They say it would be a surprise if the groups were not receiving US funding, but that the strategy would probably not work."
The paper cited Mamand Rozhe, a former PKK commander that "the PKK wanted to have a relationship with America, so it formed and used PJAK."
According to Osman Ocalan, a brother of the PKK's imprisoned leader and a founder of PJAK, US military officials visited the group's camps in northern Iraq just after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"Since the beginning, we thought we would get the American help," said Ocalan, who left the group two years ago. "And it's a good relationship now. . . . They are in talks with each other, and there is some military assistance. "
Ocalan and others say every two or three months, US military vehicles can be seen entering PKK and PJAK strongholds.
"There's no systematic relationship, no number to call," added Ocalan, however the daily mentioned a PJAK leader, Abdul Rahman Haji-Ahmadi's visit to Washington last summer.
"Americans do not intend to have an official relationship. Whenever there's any kind of question by the Turks, they can say we don't have a relationship," noted Ocalan.
According to The Los Angeles Times US officials declined to comment on claims that PJAK or other groups receive money from the US.
However, many in Washington have advocated such aid: "it would be a scandal if the US was not funding these groups," said John Pike, director of globalsecurity.org, a website about intelligence and military issues.
"The support would be covert and might be done in ways," added Pike.
The paper also named MKO, Jundollah and Komala Party as the groups which are possibly funded by the US, adding that no group officially acknowledges receiving US aid.
MHE/RE source presstv