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US halts secretive drone program with Turkey over Syria incursion: US officials
A US surveillance drone. (File photo AFP)

The United States has halted a secretive drone intelligence program with Turkey over Ankara’s October incursion into Syria, according to US officials.


Turkish military forces advanced into northeastern Syria in October to attack the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who had fought with the US against ISIS. Turkey said it was establishing a "safe zone" for Syrian refugees, but was criticized by international actors including Washington.


The statement comes as Turkey faces strained relations with both the US and Russia over its role in Syria, where it has intervened militarily in the north of the country.


The US expelled fellow NATO member Turkey from its F-35 fighter jet program in response to Ankara's acquisition of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia, which Washington said would risk compromising the safety of the F-35 program for NATO allies.


Yet Turkey is also at loggerheads with Russia over clashes between the Russian-backed Syrian regime and Turkish-supported opposition forces in Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in the country.


source: AFP