Tension rises in Turkey – Iraq border

153.jpgTurkish Military has threatened to conduct cross-border operation into northern Iraq, against both the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani.


Border tensions increased over the weekend as Kurdistan Patriotic Unity (KYB) forces stopped a team of Turkish special forces in northern Iraq. Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Gen. YaÅŸar Büyükanıt, hinted on Thursday at potential combat with Barzani’s forces in northern Iraq if Turkish troops cross the border. Troop movements on Turkey’s southeastern border have prompted speculation of a possible incursion into Iraq’s largely autonomous northern Kurdish region.


Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on Turkey not to send its troops into northern Iraq, urging Ankara to tone down its threats of military intervention.


“If there are problems we shouldn’t resort to threats force and weapons because this worsens the problems,” Maliki said at a news conference with Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani in Arbil. “We do not want to harm neighboring countries, but we also do not want neighboring countries to interfere with military raids,” he said.


Barzani also urged Turkey to tone down its threats of military intervention. “I hope it is internal rhetoric and they are not considering solving their problems through war, because war never resolved anyone’s problems,” he said.


An incident occurred on Friday in Sulaimaniya between a team of Turkish special forces and the KYB’s local Peshmerga forces, sparking new tension in the region. Armed Peshmerga forces stopped the Turkish team and asked them for identification documents. The incident ended without casualties.


However, the Turkish military demanded Iraqi Kurdish groups not repeat such episodes in the future, hinting that an armed conflict could take place.


On the other hand, the KYB officials on Saturday said that as Turkish forces were in civil attire, the Peshmerga forces could not identify them. KYB’s Ankara Representative, Bahruz Galali, apologized to Turkish officials for the episode and said they will take measures not to repeat such occurrences.


Turkish troops shelled a border area in northern Iraq early Sunday in an attack on terrorists of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) based in the region, Belgium-based Fırat news agency reported. The report could not immediately be confirmed. Citing the terrorist PKK, Fırat news agency said Turkish artillery targeted the Hakurk area in northern Iraq and that no casualties were reported. The PKK have long had camps in the area, which is 15 kilometers from the Turkish border.


However PKK has been long under investigation by many intellectual forces. Mostly it’s believed to be funded by the CIA and other American agencies to disrupt normal, peaceful life activities in neighbouring Iran too.

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