Turkish army calls for Iraq incursion

viernes, abril 13, 2007

The Turkish Army Chief General Yasar Büyükanit has announced that it is necessary -militarily speaking- for Turkey, to enter Iraqi land to search for Kurdish rebels. Of course, he has added that he is waiting for political authorization. The reason of this "precaution" is that, as he added, the Americans were not going to like it. Of course, EU has ordered Turkey some restraint and has praised Turkey of being a constructive role in the area.

But they are not inactive: they are clearing the frontier of landmines, just in case...

The problem is that the situation in Iraq is already very complicated, being the Kurds the more pacific of all.

Mr Bürüyant has asked USA to stop the Iraqi Kurds helping the Turkish Kurds.

Turkey's army chief General Yasar Büyükanit has called for a military incursion into neighbouring northern Iraq to hunt down Turkish Kurd rebels. He said the move would require parliamentary authorisation, but stressed that the armed forces are prepared for the mission. He also referred to intelligence indicating that rebels plan a fresh offensive in May. Turkey has accused Iraqi Kurds of tolerating and backing the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has waged an armed campaign for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey's southeast since 1984. About 37,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
EU Urges Restraint Over Turkish Talk of Kurdish Crackdown | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 13.04.2007

The European Commission urged Turkey on Friday to play a "constructive" role in Iraq a day after Turkey's army chief called for a military incursion into northern Iraq to hunt Turkish Kurd rebels. "The stability of Iraq is in our common interest," Commission spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy told reporters in Brussels. "The EU recognizes the constructive role Turkey plays in the area and in this context it is important that Turkey continues to play such a positive role," she added. "The EU is following the situation in the region very closely," said Nagy. "Our hope and the interest of all involved is that possible differences are dealt with in a peaceful and constructive manner."
Turkish General Threatens To Attack Kurdish Rebels In Iraq

Yasar Buyukanit, the head of the Turkish military's General Staff, said a political decision was needed before any such cross-border operation could be made. "Do we need to have an operation into northern Iraq? There are two aspects to this issue," he said. "First, from a military point of view, an operation in northern Iraq must be made. Will there be any benefits? Yes there will be. The second aspect is political. To make an operation beyond our borders, there must be a political decision."
Escalation | The Moderate Voice

Cernig comments that this will put the U.S. in an incredibly difficult position: the U.S. cannot afford to lose the support of the Kurds, but it also cannot oppose NATO ally Turkey.

NoisyRoom.net » Blog Archive » Turkish forces drive into northern Iraq to destroy Kurdish PKK rebel bases in Iraqi Kurdistan

They crossed at several points – 20 km deep to target PKK camps east of Zaho and 30-40 kms up to the rural areas of Haftanin, Sinaht and Pirbela provinces. The Turkish army is also clearing landmines that could impede its cross-border offensive against rebel Kurdish camps.
Turkish general pushes for cross-border incursion into Iraq - International Herald Tribune

Turkey is aware of the consequences a military incursion into Iraq could have.

"There is no way that our American friends would welcome such a move by Turkey. The idea is to persuade the Americans to address the problem more urgently than they have been," said Ilter Turan, a political analyst at Istanbul's Bilgi University. "I think people are frustrated that the Americans have been reluctant to do much about northern Iraq and many Turks hold the Americans responsible for what has happened (there)."

In Washington, the State Department said Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried had expressed U.S. concerns directly to Turkish authorities.

"The way we suggest it be dealt with is to have the Iraqis and Turkish governments working together to try to eliminate this threat," spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters, adding that "the focus should be on trying to resolve this in a cooperative way, in a joint way, rather than to resort to unilateral actions."
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A U.N. exhibition on the 1994 Rwanda genocide, scheduled to open Monday, has been postponed because of Turkish objections to a reference to the murders of a million Armenians in Turkey during World War I. James Smith, chief executive of the British-based Aegis Trust which works to prevent genocide and helped organize the photo exhibition, said the U.N. Department of Public Information approved the contents and it was put up on Thursday. After a Turkish diplomat complained about the reference to the Armenian murders, he said, Armenia's U.N. Ambassador Armen Martirosyan went to see the new Undersecretary for Public Information Kiyotaka Akasaka and they agreed to remove the words "in Turkey."

El Jefe del Estado Mayor Turco ha señalado que Turquía necesita invadir Iraq para impedir a los kurdos iraquíes ayudar a los kurdos turcos que continuamente pasan la frontera para, según Turquía, realizar atentados. Yasar Büyükanit ha señalado que es necesario militarmente para Turquía, pero que quiere tener el visto bueno político de su gobierno. Ha añadido que esta decisión no va a gustar mucho a "nuestros amigos americanos".

El problema es que de todos los grupos de Iraq, el más pacífico es el kurdo, que además son también fieles aliados de EEUU. Así que Büyükanit ha pedido a USA que se haga cargo de esta cuestión.

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