The Turkish military moved a step closer to launching a military incursion in Northern Iraq against Kurd separatists in Turkey who operate “from mountain hideaways across the border in Iraq.”
As reported by the Financial Times, the Turkish cabinet yesterday approved military action in Iraq. With relations between Turkey and UntiedStates at a low point, it is questionable how much leverage the U.S. has to prevent this possible regional escalation of the war in Iraq. The Kurdistan area in the North has been the most stable region in the war zone, and the Kurds have been our most reliable allies in Iraq.
The FT reports: “The [Turkish] generals are demanding more freedom of manoeuver in their battle with Kurdish separatists, in particular the ability to send forces into Iraq. The US opposes such a move, fearing the instability it could cause in Kurdish northern Iraq. The combination of the PKK – which has recently carried out several deadly attacks in Turkey – and the Armenian vote has exacerbated the anti-US mood among Turkish MPs and the public.”
The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erodgan, was quoted today by FT as saying today that “securing parliament’s permission to launch a major attack on Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq did not necessarily mean a military incursion was imminent.”
Meanwhile, the fear of an attack by Turkey in Northern Iraq continues to fuel high oil prices.