The Washington Times reported that the US government is now promising Iraqi Kurds that US forces will protect them during any operation to oust Saddam Hussein... In other words, if and when the US moves against Saddam, Iraqs Kurds wont be exposed to reprisal as they were in 1991 after the Persian Gulf War. The article quoted the Washington press corps favorite source, An Unnamed official, who said "should Saddam move against the Kurds, we would respond."
This would mean US, British, or even Turkish troops in the Kurdish northern provinces of Iraq. While US and British warplanes have kept Iraqi troops out of the north, this was because the Iraqis did not want to take the losses to their ground units if they advanced into the Kurdish territory. The Iraqis could make that advance and then station troops in Kurdish residential areas (generally free from US smart bombs.)