Friday, April 13, 2007

Turkey's top general calls for attacks on Kurds in Iraq

Since it worked so well for the US.....

The head of Turkey's army has called for a military operation in northern Iraq to target its Kurdish rebels hiding there.

General Yasar Buyukanit, the head of the army's general staff, made the assessment on Thursday but said the army had not asked parliament to authorise any such operation.

"From the military point of view, a [military] operation in northern Iraq must be made," Buyukanit said.

"The PKK has huge freedom of movement in Iraq... It has spread its roots in Iraq."


Political analysts say Turkey is unlikely to mount a full-blown invasion of northern Iraq, but could authorise cross-border commando operations or air raids against PKK targets.

Massoud Barzani, leader of Iraq's Kurdish population, recently commented that Iraqi Kurds would interfere in Turkey's mainly Kurdish cities if Ankara interfered in northern Iraq, drawing anger from Ankara.

Buyukanit also said Turkey's military had received intelligence that Kurdish guerrillas would step up their activities in Turkey from May.

He said 10 members of the armed forces had been killed in clashes with PKK fighters in recent days during a military offensive in southeast Turkey, with 29 PKK members killed during the same period.

More than 30,000 people have been killed since the PKK launched its armed struggle to win greater civil rights and regional autonomy for Turkey's Kurdish minority in 1984.

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