As I posted some weeks ago, there are reports that point out to a Turkish incursion into Iraq. Turkey has just denied it:
Turkey has denied reports that its troops have launched a major incursion into northern Iraq, targeting Kurdish militants. News agencies quoting unnamed Turkish security officials say there’s been a “limited cross-border” military operation. A US State Department spokesman urged Ankara to be cautious. An estimated 4,000 rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK, are said to be hiding in Iraq. Turkey’s foreign minister Abdullah Gul described reports of a 50,000-strong invasion force “disinformation”. Meanwhile the new Frenc President, Nikolas Sarkozy plans to obstruct attempts by Turkey to join the European Union, saying the vast country does not belong in the bloc.
But the incursion was first pointed out by Turkish officials:
Three Turkish security officials said troops crossed the border Wednesday. But they described the operation as just a “hot pursuit” raid that was limited in scope, and one said the soldiers left Iraqi territory by the end of the day.
The officials, all based in southeastern Turkey, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
Turkish authorities rarely acknowledge such military operations against the PKK, but the army has conducted brief raids across the border in the past.
Despite the dispute over whether an incursion happened, the reports were likely to heighten anxieties over whether Turkey is planning a large-scale invasion. The last such operation was in 1997 and involved 50,000 soldiers.
Turkish leaders have said they are considering an offensive, and have sent more troops and equipment to the frontier. But they hope the U.S. and Iraqi Kurds will stage their own crackdown on the separatists, who raid southeast Turkey after resting, training and resupplying in Iraq.
All this Kurdish fuddleduddle seems to me to be at the same time dangerous and insincere. Dangerous because it damages the stability of our allies (i.e. Turkey) and other already unstable states (i.e. Syria). Insincere because the United States is not a revolutionary power; it is a status quo power and only half supports revolutionary movements, and generally tries to preserve regional boundaries. The Kurds will not find a Kurdistan in America. They will find themselves offered up as tools for destabilizing Iran and then abandoned (as they were against Iraq in the 1970’s; and without remorse by the American Congress) to be locked up, butchered or worse. I call it fuddleduddle because I see no long term benefit to allowing the Kurds to let their friends blow themselves up in Turkish cities. The Kurdish region of Iraq is beneficial in the short term, but if it persists in being a launch pad for PKK attacks, I am forced to ask who is the more valuable ally, the Turks or the Kurds? In this respect, I see that the Iraqi Kurds express no concern for the national interests of their neighbors (even as those neighbors are the allies of their patrons), or of their supposed country men (the Arabs of Iraq to their south, for whom Kurds interviewed consistently express a mixture of contempt and indifference). What kind of ally can a Kurdistan really be?
Also from the above post from The Belmont Club:
There are rumors Turkey has made an armed incursion into Kurdistan and the news is well covered by Pajamas Media. Iraq’s neighbors do not seem to treat it as a state. The Syrians, Iranians and now the Turks feel free to cross its borders and attack it’s nominally sovereign territory with impunity; to attack Kurdish guerilla bases, snatch British sailors or attack American troops according to preference.
Ironically, neither Iraqi, British nor American troops are on any account allowed to cross the border the other way. No sir. That would constitute a breach of international law. That frustration with the limitations of international law or rules of engagement limiting counterinsurgency inevitably tempt commanders to indulge instead in war by proxy. And there we are with ethnic instability again.
This creates a situation pregnant with danger. Turkey, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia are precisely the countries which diplomats hope will guarantee Iraq’s internal peace and security once America withdraws. But in absence of an exteranal guarantor, the nonexistence of a de facto Iraqi state will mean every part of its carcass will be up for grabs. If news of the Turkish incursion are true, the buzzards are already taking their first tentative pecks.
It is true that PKK is considered as a terrorist group even by USA. The problem here is that both Kurds [which does not mean every Kurd is a PKK admirer] and Turks are US allies. Which of them will US back? If they back the Kurds, they can lose Turk support in a more than delicate moment. And if they back the Turks, the Kurdish support can vanish into thin air, something also very delicate, considering that they are US coalition main allies throughout Iraq. And that Kurdish support can also be very important inside Iran, as there is also an important Kurdish community there, that is basically anti-Mullah and admirers of PKK.
Both solutions are not good, in fact they can be very wrong.
UPDATED: Al-Qaeda Threat to Kurdish Converts:
“We are hunting those who have converted to Christianity or Zoroastrianism as we consider them renegades and God’s punishment must be implemented by killing them,” the Islamist terrorist group said in a statement released on the internet on April 22.
Related with Turkey: Sarkozy will not block Turkish accession to EU talks. Hmm, wasn’t Sarko the one who opposed so fiercely during electoral campaign to it? Yes, and that’s why Gallia Watch critisizes him, among other subjects, like EU constitution.
Also the Orthodox Patriarc Bartholomew I wants Turkey’s Christians to share the same rights as Muslims both in that country and in all Europe h/t Custos Fidei.