In a 428-18 vote, Turkey’s parliament today agreed to extend the military’s mandate to launch attacks against Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq for another year. The vote came following a closed-door debate about the issue.
Since the 2003 US occupation of Iraq, northern Iraq has been governed by a largely independent Kurdish regional government. Since that time, Iraq’s neighbors have complained the region has become a popular staging ground for their own Kurdish rebel factions.
This has led to attacks, primarily from Turkey but also occasionally from Iran, into Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turkish military says that it has been given intelligence about targets by the US forces, and claimed earlier in the summer to have killed over 100 rebels in a strike.
But the recent attacks have largely been artillery strikes and bombings. The last major ground invasion was in February 2008, when thousands of Turkish troops crossed the border into Iraq and killed hundreds of suspected PKK members.