Thursday, May 17, 2007

More Signs Of Turkish Invasion Of Northern Iraq

By Cernig

For a long time now, observers have noted the inevitability of a Turkish cross-border operation against Kurdish PKK terrorists who have safe haven in Northern Iraq. KUNA, the Kuwaiti state news agency, repeats Turkish media reports that matters are drawing to a head.
Turkey has recently reinforced its army forces on the Turkish-Iraqi border to chase PKK activists, a report said here Thursday.

Military reinforcements, the largest of their kind in years, have been sent to the border, taking the total number of Turkish forces stationed at the border Sirnak area up to 50,000 soldiers armed with sophisticated weapons, tanks and aircraft, military sources were quoted by Thursday's Turkish Zaman newspaper as saying.

Stepped-up military reinforcements aim to chase and hunt Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) elements and to prevent rebels from infiltrating into southeast Turkish areas via north Iraq, the paper added.

The Turkish army has recently announced that seven PKK activists were killed and 20 others were arrested during its operations in May, Zaman added.

Meanwhile, military operations are expected to increase on the border with Iraq within the coming few weeks' time ahead of the early elections scheduled for July 22nd, the Turk C.N.N news website reported.

The Turkish army is still convinced that a military incursion into north Iraq is necessary for hunting PKK elements, it said.

Even the Turkish government, led by Receb Tayyip Erdogan, believes in the necessity of such military operations in a bid to gain more votes from Turkish nationalists who accuse it of failing to take strict moves against the PKK, it added.

Meanwhile, it was reported that such potential attacks could be greenlit by the US especially following remarks by US Ambassador in Ankara Ross L. Wilson, voicing understanding of Turkey's concern over the PKK's moves in north Iraq, the website pointed out.[Emphasis mine - C]
Given that the Iraqi government have said that a cross-border attack would be resisted by "all Iraqis" and that U.S. "green lighting" of such an attack would end the comparative peacefulness of Kurdish areas as regards attacks on U.S. forces, I have to wonder if State has talked to the Pentagon about all this.

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