US Military Furious At Turkish Air Attacks In Iraq

During the past few days, Turkish air planes have bombed villages and supposed military bases of Kurdish rebels in the mountains of Iraq. Inhabitants of the villages claim there were no Kurdish rebels and those killed and wounded were simply ordinary civilians. Not only villagers are furious at the Turkish attack, but so is the United States military. US commanders were not informed by Turkey there would be air attacks until the planes were already inside Iraq. The United States had made an agreement with Turkey that US intelligence would provide information about the location of Kurdish rebels, but these sources were not consulted in these air strikes. The Iraq government, which supports efforts to curb Kurdish rebels, is also upset at being kept ignorant about attacks on its own territory.

A major concern of US military officials is the importance of coordinating intelligence in order to ensure attacks are made on Kurdish rebels, not innocent civilians. The Turkish military claimed they lacked time to inform their allies in the fight against Kurdish rebels because they were engaged in hot pursuit of the enemy. Continued attacks which wind up killing civilians will only strengthen Kurdish rebels and gain them new recruits. It is difficult being able to cite a single example of how air power has eliminated guerrilla forces on the ground.