« Bhutto Receives a Hero's Welcome |
Blog Home Page
| Deal on FISA Oversight of Surveillance brings Bush a Big Victory »
October 18, 2007
Turkish Parliament Gives Green Light for Raids into Iraq
Responding to incessant attacks across the Iraqi-Turkish border by Kurdish terrorists, the parliament of Turkey gave the go ahead for cross border raids into Iraq by the Turkish military:
Turkey’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to authorize sending troops into northern Iraq to confront Kurdish rebels in hide-outs there, sending an angry message to the Baghdad government and its Washington sponsor. Turkey has shown admirable patience in the matter of cross border attacks by the PPK, the Kurdish terrorist group. Those attacks have increased in frequency and severity over the last year and only the importuning of the United States has kep the Turks from carrying out "hot pursuit" missions and even pre-emptive strikes" against Kurdish bases in Iraq.
But Turkey, a member of NATO, made it clear that it would not immediately carry out the resolution. The 507-to-19 vote was the culmination of months of frustration here with the United States, which has criticized Kurdish rebels who attack Turkey from Iraq but has failed to get its Kurdish allies in Iraq to act against them.
President Bush on Wednesday reiterated American wishes for a diplomatic solution.
The vote to authorize sending troops, which Turkish officials say gives them up to a year to take action, was, in essence, a blunt request for the United States to acknowledge Turkey’s status as an important ally in a troubled and complex region.
The vote authorizes military action up to a year so it is hoped that Turkey will forgo attacking Iraq and allow the Americans and Iraqis to try and deal with the difficult Kurds whose ultimate goal is to seek their own homeland, uniting Kurds in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey and carving out slices from each nation. It's not going to happen anytime soon, something most Kurds in Iraq realize which is why they are sticking with the Prime Minister Maliki's government for the time being. And it is not clear just how much control the Kurdish leadership has over the PPK.
Given the recent committee vote in the House on the Armenian genocide resolution, the Turkish parliament were probably sending a warning to the US as much as they were responding to PPK incursions. The message: Get control of the PPK and keep your nose out of our business when it comes to history.