Tag Archives: Kurdistan

Turkish Soldiers Ready To Enter Iraq

Turkish top civilian and military leaders have met over the past twenty-four hours to discuss possible retaliatory measures in dealing with Kurdish rebels who killed 15 people over the past few days. Turkey has been placed on the highest state of mobilization as the government prepares plans to deal with Kurdish rebels who attacked inside Turkey and then fled to sanctuary areas in Iraq. After Prime Minister Erdogan met with the Supreme Anti-Terrorr Board, the government issued a statement authorizing “the necessary orders and instructions to take all kinds of legal, economic, and political measures to end the presence of the terrorist organization in a neighboring country in the upcoming period, including, if necessary, a cross-border operation.” Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul noted “there is no need for parliamentary authorization for a hot pursuit operation.”

President Bush was so absorbed in plans to end the reign of Saddam Hussein he ignored political considerations in that region of the world. Kurdistan is now for all intensive purposes functioning as an independent nation even though ostensibly part of Iraq. America failed to engage in long range planning about what would happen if Kurdistan became self governing and then encouraged Kurdish rebels to attack and retreat into a sanctuary in Iraq. Bush also doesn’t recognize by invading Iraq without UN authorization he opened the door for other nations to claim if they are subject to “terrorist threats” they have the right to invoke the same policy of hot pursuit. If Turkish troops encounter Iraqi troops and shots are exchanged, what will be the policy of the United States? In the midst of this confusion and tension, the US Congress is prepared to pass a resolution condemning Turkey for its genocide campaign against Armenians. There is no question of Turkish complicity in a genocide operation, but President Bush has lost all leverage over Congress to find ways of getting the message out about Turkish brutality without adding to tension in the region.

Turkey Weighs Attacking Kurds In Iraq

Members of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) who have been engaged in fighting for an end to Turkish rule, ambushed and killed 15 Turkish soldiers over the weekend. This follows last week’s gunning down of 12 civilians who were part of a self defense force for their village. Turkish Kurds seek to separate their areas from the Turkish nation and become part of the new nation of Kurdistan which was formed after the American invasion of Iraq. Technically speaking, Kurds are still part of Iraq, but, for all intensive purposes they function as a semi-autonomous nation. Turkey’s prime minister met with leaders of the army to weigh the possibility of crossing the border into Iraq while pursuing Kurdish rebels. Iraq and Turkey signed an agreement to cooperate with one another, but they could not agree on Turkey’s request for the right to pursue Kurdish rebels back into Kurdistan.

The situation in Kurdistan is volatile and can lead to a Turkish attack, with or without provocation. The Turkish press is championing the need for an attack much like the American media urged taking out Saddam Hussein. The United States is once again caught in the middle, which way to go? Should the US support Turkey’s right of pursuit? America has claimed a similar right in pursuing Iraqi terrorists.