Kurdish War: Turks Raid, Not Invade, Iraq


June 8, 2007: Turkish special forces troops, in helicopters, landed inside Iraq, attacked a PKK target, then left. Turkish special ops units frequently pursue PKK rebels across the border ("hot pursuit"). They also cross the border on recon missions and meet with Iraqis (unofficial meetings to discuss subjects like preventing attacks, etc). Elsewhere, a bomb attack killed three Turkish soldiers and wounded six in one of the Turkish military's new "temporary security zones" south of the Turkish city of Siir, near the Iraqi border.

June 7, 2007: Turkey has declared several areas on the Turkey-Iraq border "temporary security zones." It's unclear exactly what a "temporary security zone" is, but it is very likely these are areas where the Turkish military will try to restrict any kind of movement in or out. Air traffic may also be restricted. "Temporary security zones" sound like a defensive or counter-insurgency measure, but it is also possible that Turkish troops will use these areas to assemble for strikes into northern Iraq.

June 6, 3007: Turkish military commanders said they would only move into northern Iraq on orders from the government. This would be to conduct anti-PKK operations in northern Iraq. This announcement made clear that the Turkish military will not move on its own, which it has sometimes done in the past against the PKK.

June 4, 2007: Eight Turkish security troops died in a PKK attack in the town of Tunceli. One rebel was killed and the other escaped. The attack was initially reported as a suicide car bomb attack. Under any circumstances, the attack was brazen.

June 3, 3007: Turkish artillery shelled the Hakurk area (east of the Iraqi border town of Zakho). Turkey believes the area is used as an infiltration route for PKK guerrillas moving from bases in Iraq into Turkey.

May 31, 2007: Turkish military commanders announced that they are ready to move into northern Iraq. Turkish electronic media showed numerous pictures of trucks carrying armored vehicles moving near the Turkey-Iraq border.

May 28, 2007: Turkey believes some 3,800 PKK rebels are currently based in Iraq, and about 2,300 are operating inside Turkey.

May 25, 2007: The Turkish government complained that it is not receiving the support it expected from the US in its fight against the PKK, and that the US diplomatic effort "is not at the desired level…"


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