Thousands of Turkish troops crossed the border and entered Iraq as part of a new campaign to wipe out Kurdish rebels. It is estimated at least 10,000 troops constituted the invasion force with thousands more prepared to join in the hunt for Kurdish militants. Turkish military leaders stated: “The Turkish Armed Forces”, which attach great importance to Iraq’s territorial integrity and stability, will return home in the shortest time possible after the goals have been achieved.” US military officials quickly learned the attack had been made in pursuit of the Kudisatan Workers Party(PKK) but were not making any public reaction to the action except to note the operation was to be of “limited duration” and aimed at PKK rebels.
A State Department official in Washington D.C. said the land incursion was “not the greatest news” and the United States had been cooperating with the Turkish military by providing information regarding the PKK. In Baghdad, Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Hoshiyar Zebari, said his government was not aware of an Turkish ground offensive. He apparently is the only one who doesn’t know what is happening.
During the past few months there have not been reports of any major actions by the PKK in the border region, but the Turkish military appears concerned about the situaton. One can only wonder if internal conditions in Turkey played a role in this incursion into Iraq.