Friday, October 12, 2007

Turkish incursion threatens only part of Iraq still at peace

Turkey is threatening to send its troops into northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish guerrillas in a move likely to destabilise the one part of Iraq which is at peace.
The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will ask parliament next week to authorise a military incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan after attacks by Turkish Kurds killed more than 10 Turkish troops last Sunday. Threatening a push into Iraq would also underline Turkish anger at the US Congressional vote describing the Ottoman Turk killing of Armenians in 1915 as genocide.
A statement from Mr Erdogan's office said: "The order has been given for every kind of measure to be taken [against the PKK] including, if needed, by a cross-border operation."
Given the rebels' knowledge of the terrain and the lack of roads, the PKK could disappear very easily. The Turks would probably use helicopter-born troops to try to surprise them.

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(h/t to Prof. Cole who has an excellent analysis of teh situation up on his blog. Just click on the link)