Friday, July 06, 2007

Turkish FM on Iraq - "We know what to do and when to do it"

By Cernig

For about a year, Iraq-watchers have been eyeing increasingly belligerent moves from Turkey, frustrated at U.S. and Iraqi refusal to curb the PKK terror group which attacks Turkish targets from refuges in Kurdish iraq, and wondering how long it would be before a Turkish invasion.

It looks like it's going to be soon.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's government and military have agreed on detailed plans for a possible cross-border operation against Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq, the foreign minister said Friday.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul urged the United States and Iraq, which oppose a Turkish military move into Iraq, to crack down on rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. But he said Turkey was ready to stage an offensive if necessary.

``We have decided how to act, everything is clear,'' Gul told private NTV television. ``We know what to do and when to do it,'' he said without providing details.

Turkey has long complained of U.S. inaction against separatist rebels, who have escalated attacks in Turkey in recent months. Last week, Turkey's military chief asked the government to set political guidelines for an incursion into northern Iraq.

Asked whether the government would discuss a possible cross-border offensive during a Cabinet meeting next week, Gul said: ``Everything can happen in one day.''

Turkish political leaders have said the parliament must approve any major incursion. Such a move could strain ties with Washington, which is trying to deal with violence elsewhere in Iraq and wants to preserve the north as one of the country's few relatively calm areas.
As I said the other day, the only thing I can now see halting a Turkish incursion into Iraq which would present the Bush administration with a lose-lose proposition, would be a U.S. attack on Iran. That would halt Turkish plans simply because hetting involved in a three-way or even four-way war would be too unpredictable. Funny how the rhetoric among the neocons who presided over the entire failed Iraq adventure has become far louder this past couple of weeks, eh?

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