Turkish Army and Kurdish Rebels Clash In Mountains

Fighting on the Turkish-Iraq border escalated as units of the Turkish army clashed with rebels who belong to the Kurdish Workers Party. The Kurds infiltrated in early morning hours and attacked a Turkish patrol killing 12 soldiers. About thirty three Kurdish rebels were also killed in the fighting. Elsewhere in the mountains, Kurdish insurgents wounded at least 16 Turkish soldiers. There are reports the Turkish army is using artillery in order to blast Kurdish positions.

The losses on both sides, as of this point, are rather minor, but the implications are major. Continued deaths of Turkish soldiers will only result in further escalation of fighting until it reaches the point where the Kurdish government might decide to get involved. Such a decision would pose enormous problems for Iraq which would have to make a choice between defending its territorial integrity or antagonizing Turkey.