Friday, April 13, 2007

Turkey pressures U.S. to fight Kurdish guerillas in Iraq. Threaten incursion.

Turkish army demands incursion into Iraq - Independent Online Edition

Turkey's military chief asked the government yesterday to approve an incursion into Iraq, increasing pressure on the US and Iraq to fight Kurdish guerrillas.

But military action was likely to be used only as a last resort: it would strain ties with Washington and could spark a mutiny from Kurdish lawmakers within Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's own party ahead of elections in November, analysts said.

"An operation into Iraq is necessary," General Yasar Buyukanit said, adding that his forces were fighting more than 2,000 guerrillas in the border region operating from within Turkey.

Ankara has been battling separatist Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey since 1984. The Turkish military recently reinforced its troops in the predominantly Kurdish southeast.


UPDATE (April 15, 2007): READ THIS VERY INTERESTING PIECE ON THE PESHMERGA: "AN ARMY, NOT A MILITIA".

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