The AP is reporting that 7 Turkish soldiers have been killed by a Kurdish PKK attack on their border post, an act which is certain to further ratchet up Turkish calls for a cross-border invasion to deal with the Kurdish terrorist problem that the Iraqi government and US occupation forces have been unwilling and unable to handle.
The AP also reports that artillery shelling into Iraqi territory has already begun - and that the Iranians have joined Turkey in co-ordinated shelling of Iraqi soil.
A pro-Kurdish news agency reported Monday that Turkish troops shelled a border area in northern Iraq for a second day in an attack on Kurdish rebels based there.Here's Bush administration foreign policy at its very worst. They refused to decide in favor of their NATO ally and actually do something about a terror group responsible for 30,000 of that ally's people being killed. This because they were so determined to gloss over the cracks in their narrative about the final success in Iraq always being just around the next corner. Now, they've shot themselves in the foot with that ally in terms of their own rhetoric about rights to attack terror wherever it may manifest and handed Iran a causus belli to invade Iraqi territory should it wish it. With 170,000 US troops playing piggy-in-the-middle since the Iraqi government has said it will treat any cross-border incursion as an act of war and react accordingly.
Abdul-Rahman al-Chadarchi, a spokesman for the Kurdish rebel group PKK, told The Associated Press by telephone that there had been artillery shelling from Turkey into Iraqi territory at dawn, and that there had been simultaneous shelling from the Turkish and Iranian sides on Sunday night.
``There were no casualties. Most of the shells landed in empty areas, valleys and farms. Turkish helicopters are conducting surveillance flights over Iraqi border lands,'' al-Chadarchi said. The report could not immediately be confirmed.
The leader of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, Massoud Barzani, confirmed shelling by Turkish troops on Kurdish areas early Sunday but said there was no Turkish incursion.
On Monday, the Belgium-based Firat news agency, citing Iraqi Kurdish sources, said Turkish artillery again targeted an area close to the border town of Zakho. On Sunday, the agency said the troops shelled the Hakurk area, farther east.
Turkish authorities, who have called the Firat agency a mouthpiece of the main Kurdish rebel group, the PKK, were not immediately available to comment.
Kurdish guerrillas have long had camps in the Hakurk area, nine miles from the Turkish border.
Turkish troops have occasionally launched brief raids in pursuit of guerrillas in northern Iraq, and have sometimes shelled suspected rebel positions across the border. Turkish authorities rarely acknowledge such military operations, which were more frequent before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Turkey has been building up its military forces on the Iraqi border in recent weeks, amid debate over whether to launch a cross border offensive to attack separatist rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish acronym, PKK. The rebels stage raids in southeast Turkey after crossing over from hide-outs in Iraq and have escalated bomb attacks in the west of the country.
All this from the party that says it's strong in the War On (some) Terror and best for American national security...