News in Brief: 18 October 2007 — Turkish Parliament Approves Incursion into N. Iraq
A brief list of news for the day:
Turkey Authorizes Iraq Incursion. The Turkish parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly authorized cross-border military attacks in northern Iraq against Kurdish separatist rebels, as world leaders pleaded for restraint. In the hours leading up to the vote, Turkish leaders were besieged with last-minute telephone calls from across the globe, imploring against military action on grounds that it could inflame the only relatively stable region of war-ravaged Iraq. Turkish lawmakers on Wednesday accused the United States and the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq of giving PKK leaders and fighters free rein to run their headquarters and training camps and plot attacks on Turkey, despite a 2003 agreement to assist in curbing rebel operations inside Iraq. (Washington Post) — Thanks Darryl.
Turkey: Parliament gives go-ahead for incursion. Agreeing that the fight against terrorism should be embraced as a national cause and defying international pressure, the Turkish Parliament overwhelmingly approved a governmental motion on Wednesday that seeks parliamentary authorization for a cross-border operation into Iraq to crush outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases there. Parliament voted 507-19 in favor of empowering the government to order the military to cross into Iraq over a one-year period. (Today’s Zaman)
Kurdistan Region Presidency: We are not a Party in the War between Turkey and PKK. Kurdistan Region Presidency today, announced a statement on the Turkish parliament’s approval of the army overran the Kurdistan Region on pretext of attacking PKK strongholds, confirming that the Kurdistan Region is not a party in the ongoing war between Turkey and the PKK. “KRG strongly denies the charges against it that support and assistance elements of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) .If the parties decided to seek a diplomatic solution to solve the problem, we are ready to provide all assistance and if they to follow the war, we are not a party to this war and we will not accept that to be pulled to it.” the statement clarified. (PUK Media)
Fearful Iraq Kurds protest Turkish threat. Thousands of Iraqi Kurds rallied in two Kurdish cities on Thursday, holding aloft red, white and green flags of Kurdistan that are banned in Turkey and calling for international support. Kurds in the regional capital Arbil and the border city of Dohuk were fearful that a Turkish parliamentary decision to authorise a military incursion meant troops imminently crossing the border to hunt down rebels. The Turkish parliament gave permission to the military on Wednesday to launch an incursion into northern Iraq to crack down on rebels from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Iraqi territory. Carrying Kurdish flags and banners written in Arabic, Kurdish and English, protestors called for help to stop the Turks from launching any military action. (IC Publications/AFP)
Talabani: PKK acting against Kurdish interests. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Wednesday called on PKK militants in Turkey to stop fighting… Talabani, who is an ethnic Kurd, sought to project unity between the Turkish and Iraqi governments as Turkey’s parliament appeared set to approve potential military action in northern Iraq to chase the PKK militants. [Turkey has now approved military action] (The New Anatolian)
Syrian president expresses support for incursion into N. Iraq. Syrian President Bashar Assad, who began a four-day visit to Turkey on Tuesday, stated on Wednesday that Syria would stand by Turkey’s right to launch a cross-border operation into northern Iraq, if it decided to take such a course of action. (Today’s Zaman). — Syria’s government is the only one to-date to officially support a Turkish incursion into Northern Iraq.
US looks for Alternative Supply links to Iraq. The United States is looking for alternative ways to supply its troops in Iraq in case Turkey closes its borders in protest at a perceived snub by Washington. A Pentagon official said: “There is planning going on,” adding that there would be “serious operational impacts” if the Turks chose to obstruct US equipment. (PUK Media/Telegraph) — About 70% of US supplies into Iraq pass through Turkey.
Support for genocide resolution weakening in the U.S. Only a few days ago, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committe voted on a resolution that condemned the supposed ‘Armenian genocide,’ backed by Democratic Representatives mainly, especially Nancy Pelosi. A few days ago Nancy Pelosi seemed determined on bringing the resolution to the floor of the House. As of yesterday, Nancy Pelosi’s determination looked weak as she adressed reporters at the Capitol Hill. “Whether it will come up or noti what the action will be, remains to be seen,” she said. This trend of weakening determination has been seen from both parties’s House members as they have started to withdraw from they support of the resolution. (Turkish Weekly)