Kurdish War: October 2, 2003


Turkey and the US are discussing what to do about PKK base camps in northern Iraq. These discussions have gone on for some time, of course, but Turkey now says it has an "action plan" the US will back. At the same time, the US has insisted that Turkey cannot take what is described as "unilateral military action" in northern Iraq. There's a balancing act going on, with the US as the balance point. The US wants to insure that Turkish action is directed at the 3000 or so PKK fighters in northern Iraq. Any "spillover" could ignite a Turk-Kurd war between Turkey and the Iraqi Talabani and Barzani Kurdish factions. That expanded war would be a huge setback for US efforts in post-Saddam Iraq. Acting as a buffer between suspicious (or belligerent) allies isn't a new role for the US. The US has "buffered" Turkish and Greek disputes for years. (Austin Bay)


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