Jill Kelley, the socialite at the centre of the David Petraeus sex scandal who sent thousands of “inappropriate” emails to General John Allen, “flirted outrageously” with a string of military chiefs, a friend claimed today.
In a dramatic new twist in the David Petraeus sex scandal on Monday night, it emerged that General John Allen exchanged 20,000 to 30,000 messages – as many as 40 a day – with Jill Kelley, the woman who sparked the probe into the CIA boss.
Jill Kelley, an unpaid social liaison for the military in Tampa, tipped off the FBI about threatening emails from David Petraeus’ mistress, Paula Broadwell – exposing his affair and leading to his resignation.
General John Allen, who is married with two daughters and leads U.S. troops in Afghanistan, denies any wrongdoing. Officials claim his emails to Jill Kelley, who is also married with children, were simply friendly.
And Jill Kelley is clearly not shy of the extra media attention, as the glamorous socialite confidently strutted outside her home for the second day in a row today – while Paula Broadwell remains in hiding.
Jill Kelley, who kicked off an FBI probe into General David Petraeus, watches TV coverage of his affair with Paula Broadwell
Paula Broadwell sent Jill Kelley half a dozen emails from anonymous accounts earlier this year warning Kelley to stay away from David Petraeus. In one, she accused Jill Kelley of groping the CIA boss under the table.
She also accused Jill Kelley of “parad[ing] around the base”, adding: “You need to take it down a notch” and “Who do you think you are?”
A friend today described how Jill Kelley would “flirt outrageously” with senior military figures invited to parties at her $1.3 million mansion, saying: “She was a very sexy lady and she knows it.”
“She always looks a million dollars in her designer dresses and heels. She turns heads,” said the friend, who did not wish to be named but has attended numerous parties at her home.
“At the parties she would flirt with all the senior military guys. She’s touchy feel-y. Her hands would be on their arms. She was attentive. It’s not hard to see why she had some guys under her spell.”
A top U.S. official revealed that some of the emails exchanged between Jill Kelley and John Allen from 2010 until 2012 were “flirtatious”.
John Allen, 58, succeeded David Petraeus in Afghanistan and was due to take over as NATO’s top commander – but his appointment has been suspended while his relationship with Jill Kelley is investigated.
If General John Allen is found to have engaged in an extramarital affair – a crime in the military – he faces being court martialed, bringing a spectacular fall from grace and the end to a glittering army career that has spanned nearly 40 years. He has denied any wrongdoing.
High-ranking Syrian military figures have defected to Turkey, reports in Turkish media say.
A general, two colonels, two majors and about 30 other soldiers are said to have crossed into Hatay province on Sunday night.
They were part of a group of some 200 people who crossed the border overnight into Monday, Anatolia news agency says.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated over the shooting down by Syria of a Turkish F-4 jet on Friday.
The two pilots were reported missing after their plane went down in the Mediterranean off the Syrian coast.
Syria has insisted the plane was engaged while in its airspace while Turkey insists it was in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria, when it went down.
A general, two colonels, two majors and about 30 other soldiers are said to have crossed into Hatay province on Sunday night
In a news conference broadcast by Syrian state TV on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said wreckage from the plane proved it had been shot down within Syrian waters.
“The Syrian defense forces used an anti-aircraft gun with the longest range of 1.2km. We can confirm the damage was caused by anti-aircraft fire. We didn’t use radar for this action.”
Syria was committed to good neighborly relations with Turkey, Jihad Makdissi said, adding that if Turkey responded positively, Syria would act accordingly.
The EU, which has urged Turkey to adopt a “restrained response”, is to extend its sanctions on Damascus in order to increase pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s government.
As the search in the Mediterranean continues for the F-4’s two pilots, Turkish media report that their boots have been found, but not their parachutes.
The Turkish cabinet discussed the crisis on Monday, a day before NATO ambassadors in Brussels were due to consider their response.
Ankara has invoked Article 4 of NATO’s charter, under which consultations can be requested when an ally feels its security is threatened.
More than 33,000 people have fled into Turkey since Syria’s violence began in March 2011.
The latest arrivals came over the border crossing near the town of Reyhanli.
They came with their families and were taken to Apaydin camp a few miles inside the border, Anatolia reports.
This is one of the biggest single groups of soldiers to defect to Turkey.
There has been a steady trickle of defections from the Syrian armed forces over the past year, most of them to opposition forces fighting inside the country.
So far there is no evidence that they have had a significant impact on the Syrian military’s ability to fight.
Turkey has openly supported the opposition Free Syrian Army which is largely made up of defectors.
The Turkish authorities say that 12 Syrian generals have already defected. Last week a Syrian air force pilot was granted political asylum after flying his plane to Jordan.
A senior UN human rights investigator is reported to have been allowed into Syria for the first time since the UN Human Rights Council set up a commission of inquiry into the escalation of violence.
Paulo Pinheiro is due to present his commission’s latest findings in Geneva on Wednesday. He is seeking to convince senior officials in Damascus to allow an investigation into a number of atrocities that have taken place.
The head of the UN observer mission has also had talks with Syrian government figures, nine days after his 300-strong team suspended its patrols in Syria because of the scale of the violence.
“We had a very professional exchange on that and we’ll see in the coming days what will happen next,” Maj. Gen. Robert Mood said.