Friday, February 22, 2008

10,000 Turkish troops attack Iraq

No, the title is not misleading.
Associated Press article:

STANBUL, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish troops launched a ground incursion across the border into Iraq in pursuit of separatist Kurdish rebels, the military said Friday - a move that dramatically escalates Turkey's conflict with the militants.

It is the first confirmed ground operation by the Turkish military into Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. It also raised concerns that it could trigger a wider conflict with the U.S.-backed Iraqi Kurds, despite Turkey's assurances that its only target was the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

"The Turkish Armed Forces, which values Iraq's territorial integrity and its stability, will return as soon as planned goals are achieved," the military said. "The executed operation will prevent the region from being a permanent and safe base for the terrorists and will contribute to Iraq's stability and internal peace."

Private NTV television said 10,000 troops were taking part in the offensive and had penetrated six miles into Iraq, though some reports said that not all the troops had been deployed. The operation was reportedly concentrated in the Hakurk region, south of the Turkish border town of Cukurca.
Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a U.S. spokesman in Iraq, said the military had received assurances from its NATO ally Turkey that it would do everything possible to avoid "collateral damage" to innocent civilians or infrastructure.

"Multi-National Forces-Iraq is aware Turkish ground forces have entered into northern Iraq, for what we understand is an operation of limited duration to specifically target PKK terrorists in that region," Smith said in a statement.

"The United States continues to support Turkey's right to defend itself from the terrorist activities of the PKK and has encouraged Turkey to use all available means, to include diplomacy and close coordination with the Government of Iraq to ultimately resolve this issue," he added.

OK, so to sum up - we have Turkey, a USA ally and a NATO member, attacking the Kurdish autonomous zone, also a US ally (the majority of Iraqi soldiers fighting in US Army uniforms as the "national" Iraqi Army are Kurds).

Iraq is supposed to be controlled by the USA and its allies, who as occupying powers have to provide stability to the country. Which makes the Turkish incursion into Iraq unlawful in the eyes of the international law (but in the age of Gitmo, US torturing people, who cares?).

So, to sum up - Iraq is a mess, a free for all. Here is who is fighting whom:
Sunni and Shia groups are fighting USA and its allies
Sunni and Shia groups are fighting each other
Kurds fight Sunni and Shia to establish their own separate country
Tukey fights Kurd to NOT let them establish their own separate country
al Kaida is in Iraq NOW (they were not there when Saddam was alive because Saddam... was an enemy of al Kaida and his secret police were much better than the Americans at keeping order) and al Kaida likes to blow up Shia and American targets to stir shit up.

In short, it is a mess, with American soldiers asking themselves - what the fuck are we doing here anyway?

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