For the last few months, there have
been rumors of Turkish troop massing
along the Turkey-Iraq border. Ultimately the reports proved to be
exaggerated. Turkey has maintained
50,000 to 60,000 troops in the zone just north of the border. They have
been conducting counter-infiltration missions and offensive "sweeps" designed
to root out PKK bases and weapons caches inside Turkey. In the past week,
however, there are new reports that significant reinforcements have arrived,
perhaps as many as 130,000 troops (about two corps). That is a genuine
offensive force, capable of conducting deep operations into Iraq. It is also a
psychologically impressive force and it has certainly got the attention of
Iraqi Kurds. Because of the heat, late July and August are tough times to fight
in most of Iraq. However, the exception is in Iraq's northern, and cooler,
mountains, which is where the PKK is based.
July 5, 2007: Turkish forces killed five PKK rebels
in two firefights in Tunceli province (southeastern Turkey).
July 4, 2007: Turkey and the U.S. admitted that they have shared
intelligence data on the PKK. This admission came after a senior Turkish general complained
that Turkey's NATO allies were not aiding Turkey in its fight with the PKK.
This is no surprise, as U.S. and Turkish militaries have worked quite closely