About Turkey builds up forces near border with Iraq
|August 10th, 2006||#1|
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Turkey builds up forces near border with Iraq info
Date: 10 August 2006
ANKARA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Turkish has been building up forces near the
border with Iraq as of Wednesday, the Daily News reported on Thursday.
The move came days after Washington hinted that it was no longer
concerned over earlier warnings by Ankara that it might opt for military
action inside northern Iraq to fight the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party
Hundreds of tanks and military vehicles arrived in the southeastern town
of Yuksekova in Hakkari province last week, the Dogan News Agency reported
Commando units from divisions based in the central provinces of Kayseri
and Isparta and the northwestern province of Tekirdag have been sent to
several towns in Hakkari and deployed near the border, the agency said.
Earlier this summer, Turkey reinforced troops along its border with Iraq
as a measure against terrorists' infiltration from Iraqi territory. However,
Turkish officials denied reports of cross- border operations into Iraqi
territory, saying that the deployment was a routine measure to prevent PKK
infiltration from its bases in northern Iraq.
After the killing of 15 Turkish soldiers in three days by PKK in
mid-July, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to take military
action inside Iraq unless the United States and Iraq moved to remove the PKK
threat originating from Iraq.
In recent days, Ankara has again avoided talk of cross-border
operations, expressing hope that Iraq will come up with measures against
the PKK. Washington has almost simultaneously hinted that it was no longer
concerned over Turkish military action.
Turkey says that thousands of armed PKK militants have taken refuge in
northern Iraq since 1999, using Iraq's Kurdish-run region as a base to
launch attacks on the Turkish soil.
On Aug. 2, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said that his country will do
its utmost to stop the PKK from using Iraqi land against Turkey, and he had
already closed some offices for pro-PKK groups.
More than 30,000 people have been killed since the PKK, which was listed
as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European
Union, launched an armed campaign for an ethnic homeland in southeastern
Turkey in 1984.
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