Turkey Claims Right to Retaliate against Kurds in Iraq
Turkey announced that its air force and artillery barrages have killed some 90 to 100 members of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq..
The strikes were in retaliation for a PKK attack on a military convoy Aug. 17 at the Turkish town of Cukurca leaving eight Turkish soldiers and one village guard dead and 15 soldiers wounded.
"Heinous attacks of the terrorist organization will be given the harshest response. The fight against terrorism will continue resolutely without giving any concessions from democracy and the rule of law," Turkish National Security Council said in a statement issued after a four-and-a-half hour meeting chaired by President Abdullah Gul one day after the Aug. 17 attack.
Zaman, a Turkish daily with Islamist leanings, cited on Friday "confidential sources" that Turkey was setting up "operational front garrisons" inside northern Iraq. Turkey has stationed 2,500 troops inside Iraq for the past decade and a half without the approval of the Iraqi government, now they intend to beef up that force and fortify it. Turkish Special Forces will issue from these positions on short notice.
The Turkish attacks are causing friction between the Iraqi Kurdish leadership who claim that the victims were mainly civilians and the United States. The Kurds believe that the United States should be restraining Ankara and not permitting the Turks to violate Iraqi sovereignty with impunity.
While official Israel has not pointed to the obvious Turkish double standard as Turkey has condemned similar Israeli practices, the Iranian press has made this charge. They expect Turkey to moderate in its attacks on the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad that is essentially doing the same as Turkey by subduing armed terrorists.