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Turkey Takes Step Toward Iraq Operation


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Turkey Takes Step Toward Iraq Operation

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - The Turkish government will seek parliamentary approval for a military operation against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, a government spokesman said Monday, taking action on one of two major issues straining relations with Washington.

The government will immediately send a motion to the Parliament in hopes of a vote later this week, government spokesman Cemil Cicek said. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government twice acquired similar authorizations from the Parliament in 2003, but did not act on them.

Cicek insisted the only target was the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK.

"We have always respected the sovereignty of Iraq, which is a friendly and brotherly country to us," Cicek said. "But the reality that everyone knows is that this terrorist organization, which has bases in the north of Iraq, is attacking the territorial integrity of Turkey and its citizens."

The statement appeared to be aimed at reassuring Iraq's central government as well as Iraqi Kurds, who run their own administration in northern Iraq.

Fighting along the border with Iraq was reported over the weekend, where Turkey's military said it "responded heavily" to attacks from northern Iraq by Kurdish fighters on Friday. Iraqi Kurds reported that Turkish artillery hit their territory.

Senior rebel commander Duran Kalkan said the Turkish military would suffer a serious blow if it launches a cross-border offensive, saying it would "be bogged down in a quagmire," the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency reported Monday.

Oil prices rose Monday, partly reflecting concerns over a conflict that could open up a new front in the Iraq war. Light, sweet crude for November delivery hit a new high of $85.19 a barrel before retreating in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, midafternoon in Europe.


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Look for limited strikes and incursions...nothing new really.

I would bet the Kurds have picked up a trick or two in the event of a major push by Turkey ;)

There is a report by debka that they are removing two armored divisions and bringing in helicopters which seems to support the limited strikes theory.

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Things are heating up..the hostages raise the stakes considerably.

ANKARA, Turkey - Separatist Kurdish rebels attacked a military unit near Turkey’s border with Iraq and Iran on Sunday, killing 13 Turkish soldiers, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

The pro-Kurdish Firat news agency, based in Belgium, later said rebels also took several Turkish soldiers hostage.

The attack came four days after Turkey’s Parliament passed a motion allowing its military to launch an offensive into neighboring northern Iraq to stamp out the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, hiding there. Turkish leaders have said the motion did not mean that Turkey would immediately order a cross-border offensive

But Sunday’s death toll raises the number of soldiers killed in PKK attacks in the past two weeks to around 30. And although it was not immediately clear exactly where the rebels in the latest attack were based, the clash is likely to increase calls for the military to stage an incursion into Iraq.



Oct 21 2007 9:27AM

Associated Press

Iraq's president orders Kurdish guerrillas to lay down their arms or leave Iraq

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) Iraq's president has ordered Kurdish guerrillas to lay down their arms or leave Iraq.

The directive came after the rebels ambushed a military unit near Turkey's border, killing 12 soldiers.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (jahl-LAHL' tahl-ah-BAH'-nee) a Kurd is urging the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, to stop the attacks. There have been fears an incursion would destabilize the relatively peaceful Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

An Iraqi army officer says Turkey fired about 15 artillery shells toward Kurdish villages in the border area in northern Iraq hours after the ambush. But the officer says there were no

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