Turkish Military Accuses Iraqi Kurds of Aiding Rebels

In the wake of Saturday’s bloody clash between the Turkish army and Kurdish rebels, Iraq’s central government has promised to cooperate with Turkey against the rebels and the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan issued a condemnation of the rebel ambush. Turkish General Hasan Igsiz however, saw a different reality.

During a press conference, Gen. Igsiz accused the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan of “providing the rebels with infrastructural capabilities” and demanded that they recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization. The Turkish government has also reportedly sent an official demand to Iraq and the United States insisting that they control the border between Iraq and Turkey.

The Turkish military also acknowledged today that they had launched another series of bombing on rebel bases in northern Iraq after yesterday’s attack. There was no report of rebel casualties in the strikes.

The Kurdish rebel forces have been operating in the mountainous area along northern Iraq’s border with Turkey for years, and Turkey has regularly targeted the area with air strikes. The Turkish Army also briefly invaded the region in February, in an eight day operation they claimed killed 240 rebels and 27 soldiers. The PKK disputed the toll, insisting it had only lost 5 fighters in the offensive and had killed more than 130 soldiers. The Iraqi government condemned the incursion as a violation of its sovereignty.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.