Judah Grunstein writes on a disturbing development – Turkish troops entering into the Kurdish region of Iraq to beat back PKK guerillas and were met by the Peshmerga forces of the Iraqi Kurdish administration near the city of Duhok. The PKK is a terrorist organization whose goal is an independent and socialistic Kurdistan. The Peshmerga have been allied with the U.S. since 2003.
Bottom line: Turkey is a NATO ally that has entered into Iraq to take on socialist terrorists and the local forces and current allies of the U.S. are protecting these terrorists. Yep – all is going so well in Iraq as a result of that surge.
Update: Yasseen Taha and Leila Fadel report on the military developments as well and offer this:
the makeup of the forces suggested that Kurdish Regional President Massoud Barzani probably approved the deployment: More than 4,000 of the Kurdish forces belong to the Zeravany, the military wing of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party. The remaining 2,000 are members of Iraqi Kurdistan’s peshmerga militia, the regional government’s armed force. Barzani has been a frequent critic of the United States and Iraq’s central government for their cooperation with Turkey in targeting the PKK, which is widely popular in Iraq’s Kurdish region, but which the United States considers a terrorist organization. A confrontation between Turkish forces and the Kurdish militia would be a major escalation in the standoff over PKK attacks in Turkey, which have killed hundreds of Turkish civilians and soldiers in recent years. On Friday, Barzani rushed to Dohuk province to meet with military and local leaders after the Turkish troops crossed the border. “What is currently happening is an aggression against the Kurdish people,” he told military leaders. “We are not for escalation, but we also don’t believe that there is a military solution to this issue.”
So the central government of Iraq and the U.S. has worked with Turkey in combating the PKK, but the local government in northern Iraq has been critical of this cooperation. And now Barzani is using his troops to offset what he considers to be a Turkish invasion of the Kurdish territory.
Reuters also covers this story and worries that:
Thousands of Turkish troops have crossed into northern Iraq to hunt Kurdish rebels, television and a military source said on Friday, escalating a conflict that could undermine stability in the region.
Update II: Now Iraq is telling the Turks to stay out according to CNN:
Iraq wants the Turkish forces targeting Kurdish rebels out of northern Iraq “as soon as possible,” according to government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh. “The Turkish incursion is a direct threat to the peace and stability in the region,” al-Dabbagh said in a statement.