Vecdi Gonul said Wednesday that Turkey asked the U.S. to deliver the Super Cobra helicopters this year, a year ahead of schedule.
The Kurds have dramatically escalated their attacks this month. Nineteen soldiers and 21 Kurds died in clashes last week.
Gonul says Turkey asked for several attack helicopter gunships but U.S. Congress only approved two. Today’s Zaman newspaper said Turkey had asked for nine.
Human rights groups frequently express concern that Turkish civilians are caught in the middle of the conflict, sparked by ongoing efforts by the Turkish government to force the country’s 20 million impoverished and oppressed Kurds into submission.