Kurdish War: Turks Take The War Into Iraq


May 23, 2007: Members of the Iraqi government remain concerned that Turkey will conduct extensive military operations against the PKK in northern Iraq. Turkish armored units are definitely on the border in the Sirnak area. At the same time, Iraqi Kurds believe that many PKK guerrillas in the Khandil area are interested in surrendering. Iraqi security forces recently handed over three PKK fighters to Turkish forces at the Iraq-Turkey border. The Iraqis had captured the PKK fighters in an area outside the Khandil Mountains. Iraq continues to say that it will cooperate with Turkey against the PKK, but resent Turkish interference in Iraq's "Kirkuk issue" (ie, who will control Kirkuk). Iraqis remain concerned about water rights on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This is an old concern. In the 1980s Turkey began constructing a series of large power dams on the headwaters of these rivers, which are in Turkey.

May 18, 2007: Some 50,000 Turkish troops are involved in an operation in Sirnak province, near the Iraq border. The troops are attempting to halt PKK infiltration from Iraq. There have been several incidents where Turkish security personnel (including gendarmes) and special forces units have identified and isolated infiltrating PKK groups. Armed helicopters then launch attacks on the PKK. Turkey is also improving support bases in the region. During the first eleven days of May, six PKK fighters were killed in these operations.

May 17, 2007: Two Turkish soldiers were killed when they detonated a mine southeast of the city of Diyarbakir. The soldiers were involved in an operation targeting PKK rebels in the area.

May 16, 2007: Turkey accused Iraq of failing to adequately deal with the PKK in Iraq. Turkey believes that Iraq lacks the political will to stop the PKK. The Turkish government is taking the position that Iraq can arrest senior members of the PKK within Iraq.

May 11, 2007: A Turkish soldier died in a firefight in eastern Turkey.


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