General Yasar Buyukanit, chief of the Turkish Army General Staff, called again on Wednesday (June 27th) for a cross-border operation against the terrorist organisation Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. “We cannot say entering Iraq would eliminate the PKK. But it would deal a blow, something that would bring great benefits,” Buyukanit said at a press conference, calling on lawmakers to order the action. At the same event, the commander of Turkish Land Forces, General Ilker Basbug, announced a planned restructuring of the forces, with the goal of better tackling issues related to the PKK threat.Also on Wednesday, Turkish troops killed eight PKK fighters in the province of Sirnak, near the border with Iraq. The local governor’s office said an army unit spotted a large group of guerrillas and engaged them in a battle that lasted the whole day.
The same day, US forces said they killed two Turkish members of al-Qaeda, in a battle near Hawija on Saturday. One is described as a senior al-Qaeda operative whose cell brought foreign fighters into Iraq and reportedly recruited Turks to fight in Afghanistan in 2001.