Turkish Army Has No Plans To Quit Iraq Now

Turkishjet planes bombed positions of the Kurdish Workers Party in their nation’s continuing effort to wipe out members of the outlawed PKK, Air and ground operations are now in their fourth day and there is no indication they will end within the coming days. Turkey continues insisting “Our target is the PKK terrorist organization, not the Iraqis.” Government spokesperson Celik declined to give a time frame for the return of Turkish military and added, “Our troops will return as soon as the objective of the opertion is achieved.” Government sources claim 112 Kurdish rebels have been killed with loss of 15 soldiers.

The best estimate is the PKK has about 4,000 members and they are embedded in mountainous areas of Kurdistan. If past actions against guerrillas fighting from mountain positions have any validity, the Turkish campaign to wipe out the PKK will not be achieved within a few days or even months. Will Turkish troops remain in Iraq for the indefinite future? How will the government of Iraq react to the presence of forieign troops on its territory? What will be the position of the Bush administration if Turkish troops do not immediately withdraw? Who exactly in the American or Iraq government has explored the answer to these questions?

Another approach of the Turkish government might be focusing on economic development in Kurdish areas of their nation or making greater efforts to incorporate Kurdish leaders within government or working to end social discrimination of Kurds. These are not glamorous options, but they might provide more permanent achievement of how to end the Kurdish rebellion.