Analysts Warn Turkey ‘Planning to Stay’ in Iraq Offensive

Turkish forces establish bases, observation posts

Several Kurdish officials had rumored it before, now analysts are also warning that Turkey seems to be setting up the current offensive in Iraq for a long-term presence, potentially planning to stay.

Analysts are point to the Turkish forces setting up military bases and long networks of observation posts. The impression given is of a longer, less temporary campaign than past offensive.

Turkey has launched numerous offensives against northern Iraq in recent years, and most end after a few months. Turkey says the goal is to cut off the PKK from the border, but it seems like this is a longer-term efforte.

Iraqi officials complain the offensive is illegal, even though Turkey claims Iraq supports them. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry says Turkey cannot invoke Article 51 of the UN Charter (“the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence”) without Iraqi permission.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.