Kurds Warn Turkey’s Strategy in Iraq Is to ‘Occupy the Region’

Turkey claims success in the first stage of offensive

Though Turkey’s Defense Ministry has not given an overall itinerary for the offensive in Iraq they announced today that they considered the first stage to have been completed successfully.

This involved killing 56 Kurds, and taking “most of the area” under direct control. This raises concerns among Kurds that the Turkish strategy is a military occupation of the region.

Turkey said their intention was to keep the PKK from being able to cross the border into Turkey. They added today that eliminating the group outright is the “only goal,” and there were a lot of caves in the area they’ve taken to clear out.

Turkey has launched a number of offensives in this part of Iraq, and while distrust abounds among the Kurdish population, given Turkey’s hostility toward them, there is no sign Turkey intends anything but another round of attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.