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Turkey to Invade Northern Iraq?


Turkey considers foray into Iraq

In today's FT
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By Vincent Boland in Ankara
Updated: 16 minutes ago

Turkey moved a step closer on Tuesday to sending its army into northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish separatist rebels after a series of bloody attacks on Turkish civilians and security forces in the past two weeks that have caused a public outcry.

The government said after a meeting of senior anti-terrorism officials that "every kind of measure", including a possible foray into Iraq, would be used to end a spate of terrorist attacks, including one on Sunday in Sirnak, a province bordering Iraq, in which 13 soldiers were killed.

That incident has led to a wave of public and political outrage at the PKK, an armed Kurdish separatist movement that frequently launches deadly attacks against Turkish targets. Ankara claims the PKK is using northern Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks inside Turkey, and has argued bitterly with Baghdad and Washington over measures to counter the rebels.

In a statement on Tuesday, the office of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, did not specifically mention either the PKK or Iraq. But it said: "To put an end to the terrorist organisation operating in the neighbouring country, the order has been given to take every kind of measure, legal, economic, political, including a cross-border operation if necessary."

In the past few months Turkey has amassed up to 100,000 troops along its border with Iraq, and special units are understood to have undertaken several raids across the border to carry out specific strikes against the PKK. A large-scale invasion, however, would require parliamentary approval, and there is no sign that the government is ready to seek this yet.

Sunday's was the worst single incident for many years in Turkey's fight with the PKK, which launched an armed rebellion in 1984 that has continued more or less ever since. Mr Erdogan is under intense pressure from military chiefs for more leeway in their fight against the rebels. But he is also under pressure from Kurdish political leaders to address their continuing social, cultural and political grievances after his government won wide support in Kurdish areas in July's general election.
Copyright The Financial Times Ltd. All rights reserved.



Ok, who thinks Turkey has a right to attack Kurds in Iraq?


They're kind of using a better excuse then we had...

but still... no.


I'm guessing the same people who were handing them weapons throughout much of the past atrocities against Kurds.


Saddam is dead, dude.


I do not know enough about the situation and the alleged provocation.


Kurds are a very old people and have no nation.

Turks say that Kurds do not exist, only Mountainturks.

Turks practically forbid the Kurdish language and customs.

Kurds form a marxist resistance movement, the PKK, and start to blow shit up.

Turks obliterate whole villages.

Who did what first is unclear.

Turks call the PKK terrorists, I guess you know what Kurds call them.

The US decides to attack Iraq, Kurds live in Northern Iraq next to Turky.

Kurds have oil AND weapons now and they are allied with the US.

This is of course ideal for hit and run operations in Turky with a safe space to retreat afterwards.


You mean we gave them weapons back during WWI?

edit - oopse, the Turks oppressed so many people I got them mixed up. My bad.

Why the hell would the US support an attack on their ally in Iraq by another one of their allies? That would destabilize the country even more, wouldn't it?


Yes, but the US is in an awkward position because they are telling Turkey not to invade a foreign nation that is harboring "terrorists" for fear that the Turks will occupy the region to control the rich oil fields. Sounds familiar, don't it!

All jokes aside, the concerns that Turkey will permanently occupy the Iraqi-Kurdish region are justified. Turkey has, allegedly, had plans to do this in the first Gulf war and during the Iran-Iraq wars.


Kind of a perplexing situation, like the one we face with Pakistan, an ally in whose country there are terrorists.

If Turkey crosses the border to attack the Kurdish terrorists, do you think that would give us equal right to cross the borders of Iran and Pakistan to take care of business there?


No, but the Kurds who have been your Allies so far might re-think their position.


Not really because Musharraf is strongly anti-islamist whereas the PKK enjoys popular support and the Kurdish Government of northern Iraq would never crack down on them.



Turk forces attacked rebels in N.Iraq: army sources

Wed Oct 24, 4:48 AM ET

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish warplanes and ground troops attacked Kurdish rebel positions just inside northern Iraq between Sunday and Tuesday evening, military sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

The warplanes flew as deep as 20 km (13 miles) into Iraqi territory and some 300 ground troops advanced about 10 km, killing 34 rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the sources said.

They made clear these were small sorties of a kind that Turkish forces have been known to conduct in the past across the mountainous border, not a large-scale offensive that U.S. and Iraqi authorities are trying to avert.

"Further 'hot pursuit' raids into northern Iraq can be expected, though none have taken place so far today (Wednesday)," a military official said, adding that all Turkish troops involved in the operations were now back in Turkey.


I'm forecasting an ironic post from one of our neocon friends.