Thursday, August 25, 2011

Turkey prepares for ground assault on Kurdish rebels in Iraq

Members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Kurdi...Image via Wikipediahttp://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15342116,00.html

Turkish forces have begun massing on the Iraqi border ahead of an expected attack on Kurdish rebels in the neighboring country's mountainous northern region. The attack would follow days of airstrikes on the area.


Recent days have seen an escalation in the conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdish rebel group the PKK, with Turkish forces bombarding rebel positions in neighboring northern Iraq.
The airstrikes, which the government claimed killed some 100 rebels and the PKK said killed only three, followed the killing of nearly 40 Turkish solders by the PKK in recent weeks.
Those PKK attacks were carried out in retribution for earlier special forces operations which reportedly eliminated more than 20 rebels. Stoking Kurdish anger, soldiers were reportedly ordered to leave rebel corpses to decompose, prompting the PKK to vow revenge.
The PKK has been fighting an armed conflict against the Turkish state for greater Kurdish autonomy since 1984.
Turkey's recent military responses to the rebels have strengthened the hand of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he maintains a tough anti-PKK platform.
Erdogan promised this week that the counter-strikes would continue: "Carrying out operations for the peace of the nation is the most natural right of the government. It is an obligation and we will carry it out whatever it takes," he said.
But pro-Kurdish member of parliament Ertugral Kurkcu said the spiraling violence was of great concern.
See more here. http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15342116,00.html
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