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Turkish Troops Enter Iraq In Massive Offensive

Posted by Casey on June 6, 2007

Not as a part of the coalition either.

Apparently they were chasing Kurdish rebels who’d recently attacked Turkey. This is just the latest in a long line of skirmishes between the Turkish military, and Kurdish rebels.

Some Turkish government officials are denying the incident, but given a new offensive in southern Turkey involving 50,000 Turkish troops … the incident seems likely.

USA Today:

Several thousand Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq early Wednesday to chase Kurdish guerrillas who attack Turkey from bases there, two Turkish security officials said. Turkey’s foreign minister denied its troops had entered Iraq.

Two senior security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, characterized the action as a “hot pursuit” raid that was limited in scope. They told The Associated Press it did not constitute the kind of large incursion that Turkish leaders have been discussing in recent weeks as Turkish troops built up their force along the border.

US and Iraqi forces are saying they can’t confirm any action regarding Turkish troops crossing into Iraq in large numbers, and the White House said there has been “no new activity” in northern Iraq to justify the press reports. It is important to note that Turkish troops do regularly enter Iraq in counter-insurgency operations against Kurdish rebels in small numbers.

The Debka File is reporting:

The official Turkish news agency Cihan reports the force, backed by armored vehicles and combat aircraft, is targeting rebel strongholds in 11 provinces in southeastern Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan Wednesday, June 6.

Debka’s sources are also saying that this is just the first wave of a 90,000 man strong Turkish force. The US has also warned Turkey to stay out of Iraq.

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