Kurdish War: January 13, 2005


On January 11, CENTCOM (Central Command) told Turkey that it would not commit U.S. forces to fight PKK Kurd guerrillas in northern Iraq. The PKK are fighting for a separate Kurd state--one that will be carved out of southeastern Turkey. One report said that CENTCOM "could not spare troops" for such an operation at this time though at some time in the future "we must deal with the PKK." Both the US State Department and the Pentagon would like to see Iraq and Turkey resolve the PKK on their own. Turkey believes that the U.S. and Iraq have ignored the threat posed by the PKK. Turkey is also concerned about ethnic Turks living in Iraq (sometimes called Turkomen). There are numerous reports of Iraqi Kurds evicting Iraqi Arabs and Turkomen from their homes in northern Iraq. To be fair, many of the Kurds claim that Saddam's regime evicted them in the 1980s and gave their houses to Saddam's supporters. Turkey's complaints about the PKK have increased in recent months. This is also prime politicking time. Turkey wants to remind the new Iraqi government that it is a neighbor who has serious security concerns in how "New Iraq" will be governed.


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