About 100 members of the official defence forces of Iraq’s Kurdish region were headed Wednesday for a camp near the border city of Dahuk, 420 kilometres northwest of Baghdad.
One of them, who would only identify himself as Capt. Ziad, said his troops had been mobilized from Irbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdish region. “We want to prevent the conflict in Turkey from coming across the border,” he said. Article
In Baghdad Wednesday, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari met with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki.…
Zebari said the measures include more checkpoints along Iraq’s northern border to keep fuel, food and other supplies from reaching the Kurdish rebels. Zebari, a Kurd, also said Iraq would restrict the movement of PKK fighters to prevent them from reaching populated towns and areas inside Turkey. Article
Some more info regarding the Iranian leg of the triangle here.
The U.S. acknowledged Wednesday it has undertaken military moves against Kurdish rebels in Iraq after asserting for weeks that their strikes in Turkey were a diplomatic matter.
Pentagon officials are now starting to say publicly that the U.S. is flying manned spy planes over the border area, providing Turkey with more intelligence information, and that there are standing orders for American forces to capture rebels they find. Article
There has been increased speculation that if Iraq, the Iraqi Kurds and the US fail to meet Turkish demands over the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists, Ankara will be left with only one choice: staging an operation into northern Iraq some time in mid-November as the Turkish government has come under increased public pressure, said an Ankara-based Western military analyst.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will fly to Washington to meet with President George W. Bush on Nov. 5. Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun will accompany Erdogan during his Washington visit, along with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül.
Separately, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to visit Ankara this Friday. In both meetings, the main topic will be the search for ways to avert an all-out Turkish invasion of northern Iraq to pursue the PKK terrorists.
Erdogan said last Tuesday during an address to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) that he would take a report to Washington showing alleged links between the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq and PKK terrorists holed up there who launch cross-border attacks on Turkish soil.
He warned the US that failure to stop the PKK from operating out of northern Iraq will damage ties between the two NATO allies. Article
Turkey will push U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week to follow through on promises to help eradicate Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq but experts say the top U.S. diplomat’s hands are tied.
Rice arrives in Ankara on Friday for talks with Turkey’s leaders, before going to Istanbul for a meeting of Iraq’s neighbors and major powers that is also expected to be dominated by tensions between Iraq and Turkey.
“I can’t imagine what she is going to be able to do in terms of pulling a rabbit out of the hat that would enable her to leave claiming that some progress had been made,” said Mark Parris, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey. Article