“I think it is pretty difficult to say troops shouldn’t [invade] when the Turkish soldiers are being killed, and their villages attacked”
Celtic, Karlstad, Sweden
Morrell also said: “We are making efforts to help them get actionable intelligence.
Turkey has threatened to send its forces across the border into northern Iraq against the Kurdish Workers’ party (PKK) in response to stepped up attacks inside Turkey by the separatist group.
Morrell said the US has shared intelligence – a “lot of intelligence” – with Turkey for a long time, but has increased intelligence sharing recently.
Turkey, which has Nato’s second biggest army, has deployed as many as 100,000 troops on its border with Iraq, and says it will launch a major cross-border incursion against the PKK unless US and Iraqi forces act.
Last week, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, said Turkey and the US needed better intelligence about the location of PKK fighters in Iraq before launching a military strike. Gates would not discuss intelligence last week.
Morrell would not say how the US was gathering the intelligence.
Three soldiers were killed in the clashes, the army said.