10,000 at the Border: Turkish Troops Continue to Pour into Northern Iraq

Pro-Invasion Rally Held in Istanbul

by Jason Ditz, October 20, 2011

The Turkish military has dispatched at least 10,000 additional troops to the border with Iraqi Kurdistan, and thousands of troops are already confirmed to have crossed into Iraq to hunt the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels after yesterday’s killings of Turkish soldiers.

The offensive is the largest single deployment of Turkish forces into Iraq since 2008, and some estimates have as many as 15,000 soldiers already inside Iraqi territory. The invasion was praised in a pro-invasion rally held in Istanbul.

The Iraqi government seems to be backing off their previous opposition to Turkish deployments as well, with it becoming apparent the invasion was going to happen with our without their permission. Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari slammed the PKK for attacking the Turkish forces.

On the other hand, the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government was far more ambivalent about the fighting, saying they would not aid the PKK in the current crackdown but that they had no intention of moving against the group themselves.

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