2 Former Empires Rattled by proxies of the Present Empire?

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Postby Gouda » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:17 pm

This guy does all the work for me.
Embedded links at site:

Turkey Prepares To Invade Iraq To Contain US-Backed Kurdish Push For Independent State -
Russia, China Unlikely To Tolerate Regional Threats To Their Strategic Interests -
US Warns Turkey About Threats To "Territorial Integrity" Of Northern Iraq

http://the4thworldwar.blogspot.com/2007 ... aq-to.html

By Darryl Mason

Media reports from Turkey appear to confirm weeks of rumours that Turkey is moving forward with its long-planned invasion of Northern Iraq. The Turkish Military, by far the most powerful in the Middle East, has cancelled all leave and has moved "additional forces" up to Iraq's northern border. The target of the presumed invasion will be the 'outlawed' PKK, otherwise known as the Kurdistan Workers Party.

Turkey's chief concern is that the PKK will move across the border, via mountain passes, when the current snow and ice blocking the paths melts as Spring begins.

The PKK wants an independent Kurdistan nation, primarily in northern Iraq, with the oil-rich city of Kirkuk as its capital, but with territory swallowing up land now under Iranian, Syria and Turkish control.

Kirkuk is a glittering prize coveted by the United States, the Kurds and Israel, as it sits amongst oil fields holding more than 10 billion barrels in proven reserves. The rumour mill in Iraq has long claimed that an oil pipeline from Kirkuk, skirting Jordan, will eventually reach Israel.

Turkey believes that the United States is covertly backing the PKK in its plans for an independent Kurdistan, not only to share in the oil riches such a state would then control, but because it would allow the Americans to use Kurdistan territory for permanent air and army bases, by which the US could expand its reach into Iran and Syria.

From Zaman :

On March 10 Land Forces Commander Gen. İlker Başbuğ visited Diyarbakır in southeastern Anatolia and said that he went to the area to evaluate the current state of affairs with respect to internal security operations under way in the region as well as developments that were likely to arise in spring and summer. He added that they would also make an assessment as to what measures could be taken in the face of emerging conditions.

One week after Başbuğ’s visit, the 2nd and 3rd Armies deployed in the border region were put on alert while Turkish troops were sent to the border and were significantly reinforced.

The Office of the Chief of General Staff acknowledges extraordinary military activity in this region but adds that they are not evaluating a cross-border operation, a measure that is also opposed by the United States. However, Turkey’s decision will be shaped according to the steps the US soon takes.

This activity in the region should not be considered a cross-border operation but as preliminary preparations for a cross-border operation, the intelligence sources say.

In its strongest statements against military action by Turkey against the PKK so far, the United States has made clear it will defend the "territorial integrity" of Northern Iraq if Turkey crosses the border to move against the Kurds.

From the Turkish Daily News :

The United States made it clear on Monday that it "certainly" opposed any Turkish military action inside northern Iraq to fight the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party's presence there.

A top Turkish military commander at the weekend reaffirmed Ankara's right under international law to send troops into northern Iraq to attack the PKK terrorists hiding there if it saw fit.

But U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said that Washington certainly did not want to see any Turkish military operation in the Iraqi-Kurdish controlled northern Iraq. "We believe in the territorial integrity of Iraq," Casey told reporters.

"We certainly are working well with the government of Turkey, as well as with the government of Iraq, to try and enhance our cooperation in combating the PKK."


Turkey maintains that the PKK is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Turkish civilians and soldiers in terrorist attacks since mid-2004, launched from inside Iraq. Turkey maintains that PKK terrorists are being armed, fed and sheltered by sympathetic Kurds in mountain regions of Northern Iraq, close to the border with Turkey.

The PKK, meanwhile, insists that its intentions are not violent, that it will ultimately be successful in its decades-long battle for an independent Kurdistan, and that it is willing to negotiate with Turkey to end conflict, but would only do so "on its own terms."

From the International Herald Tribune :

Kurdish rebels say they have enough weapons to defend themselves against Turkish raids on their bases in northern Iraq but remain open to a political settlement with Turkey that recognizes Kurdish national identity.

Turkey is pressing Iraq and its American ally to crack down on rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, who launch attacks on Turkey from bases in northern Iraq. The group has been waging a bloody war in southeast Turkey since 1984 in a conflict that has claimed 37,000 lives.

The Turks have not ruled out military incursions into Iraq to hunt PKK fighters, despite U.S. fears that such a move could lead to tensions with Iraqi Kurdish groups, important allies of the U.S. in Iraq.

During an interview last week with the a PKK mountain stronghold, a spokesman for the PKK insisted that the rebels have the weapons to resist any Turkish incursion.

"Our fighters are training very hard since we heard the Turkish threats," Rustam Jawdat said. "We have enough fighters to defend ourselves."


On the diplomatic front, tension is growing between the US and Turkey over a resolution making its way through Congress that, if passed, would see the United States officially recognising the Armenian genocide, during World War I, which resulted in the deaths of more than one million people.

How aggressively would Turkey react to such official recognition by the US of something so sensitive to the Turkish people, which they have long denied? Turkey is likely to react by shutting down a key US air base inside Turkey :

Turkey provides vital support to U.S. military operations. Incirlik Air Force Base, a major base in southern Turkey, has been used by the U.S. to launch operations into Iraq and Afghanistan and was a center for U.S. fighters that enforced the "no-fly zones" which kept the Iraqi air force bottled up after the 1991 Gulf War.


Warnings about the dangerous political and military fallout from the resolution being passed have come from a key US general, as well as from the Bush White House.

The Incirlik Air Force Base is vital for US operations inside Iraq, and Turkey, likewise, is essential to the transport of oil, cargo and supplies for US military operations in the region.

"Turkey opened Incirlik Base to the U.S., there are 22 U.S. war planes there. Turkey admitted 16 U.S. war ships in its ports, and nine of them are supplying goods to the troops in Iraq, while seven of them are transporting oil. 25 percent of the oil used by U.S. troops in Iraq is sent from Habur. 60 percent of the air cargo sent to the U.S. troops in Iraq passes through Incirlik Base."

And there's the billions of dollars in US defence contracts that Turkey may decide are not worth pursuing, including the Joint Strike Fighter :

Turkey will buy 106 planes, and the project is worth 10 billion USD. Turkey will purchase 30 new F-16 war jets in return for 1.65 billion USD. More than 200 F-16s are being renovated in return for 1.6 billion USD. Turkey will buy 1.3 billion USD of air defense system in 2007. Turkish army wants 52 helicopters to be used against the terrorist organization PKK, and Black Hawk is one of the alternatives. Turkey will purchase 21-26 million USD of zeppelins from the U.S. to fight against infiltration of terrorists from Iraq".

In short, if the United States Congress passes the bill officially recognising the Armenian genocide, Turkey will make the US pay, and will put at risk key missions and goals of the Iraq War. Expect one big fat veto from President Bush if the bill is passed.

The United States now finds itself caught between Turkey and the Kurds. And the pressure from the Kurdish Media continues to grow :

It is time the (US) State Department cared more about the legitimate human and national rights of forty million downtrodden Kurds held captive against their will by Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria, than the imperialistic and racist attitudes of a state that is guilty of state terrorism and of cultural and linguistic genocide against an entire people, a state guilty of eradicating the very name of a nation, of what makes a human being a human being and a people a people.

But China and Russia are unlikely to stand idly by if Turkey decides to invade Iraq to deal with the "Kurdish problems". Such a move by Turkey would put at risk billions of dollars of Chinese and Russian business interests, to say nothing of their strategic interests. It would also put at risk deals already being negotiated by Russia and China to access oil from Kirkuk.

Iran may be the focus of the American media, for now, but the brewing war in Northern Iraq between Turkey and the PKK is likely to have far greater consequences for the United States in the long run, and could act as a trigger for an incomprehensible, but realistic, wider World War drawing in Russia and China.

United States Warns Turkey It Will Protect The "Territorial Integrity" Of Iraq Against Turkish Strikes On PKK Terrorists

[Links] :

Turkey Cancels Military Leave, Prepares For War Against The Kurds

Kurdish Rebels Claim They're "Open" To Peaceful Resolution With Turkey

Kurdish Media : The Tail Wagging The Dog - The United States And Turkey

Official US Recognition Of Armenian Genocide Threatens Rupture With Turkey

Turkey Threatens To Close Down US Military Base Used To Launch Air Strikes In Iraq And Afghanistan
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Postby Gouda » Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:42 am

Turkey upping the noise on possible military intervention against the Kurds (proxies of Israel and the US) in Northern Iraq ahead of a potential resolution in Congress acknowledging the Armenian genocide (cynical shit, as usual) and forthcoming Turkish elections (cynical shit, again). As Chiggerbit noted in another thread, Iran supplies Turkey with a lot of its oil (though a US-engineered regime change in Iran could in theory be sold to the Turks as providing oil under terms even more favorable than now - but then again, no one in the middle east is too convinced of the success or benefits of US-engineered regime change for anyone other than the western mil-industrial-finance-oil complex.) Furthermore, neither country is keen on ceding chunks of their (water rich, oil rich) territory to the Kurds. Israel and US playing all sides, of course...

The Guardian is following this:

US struggles to avert Turkish intervention in northern Iraq
· Ankara claims Kurdish rebels preparing attacks
· Operations could wreck American peace strategy

http://www.guardian.co.uk/turkey/story/ ... 26,00.html

The US is scrambling to head off a "disastrous" Turkish military intervention in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq that threatens to derail the Baghdad security surge and open up a third front in the battle to save Iraq from disintegration.

Senior Bush administration officials have assured Turkey in recent days that US forces will increase efforts to root out Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK) guerrillas enjoying safe haven in the Qandil mountains, on the Iraq-Iran-Turkey border.

But Abdullah Gul, Turkey's foreign minister, MPs, military chiefs and diplomats say up to 3,800 PKK fighters are preparing for attacks in south-east Turkey — and Turkey is ready to hit back if the Americans fail to act.

(...)

Several other factors are adding to the tension between the Nato partners:

The firm Turkish belief that the US is playing a double game in northern Iraq.
Officials say the CIA is covertly funding and arming the PKK's sister organisation, the Iran-based Kurdistan Free Life party, to destabilise the Iranian government.

US acquiescence in plans to hold a referendum in oil-rich Kirkuk in northern Iraq. Turkey suspects Iraqi Kurds are seeking control of Kirkuk as a prelude to the creation of an independent Kurdistan.

Plans by the US Congress to vote on a resolution blaming Turkey for genocide against the Armenians in 1915. Faruk Logoglu, a former ambassador to Washington, said that if the resolution passed, relations "could take generations to recover".

(..)

US support for Iranian Kurds opposed to the Tehran government is adding to the agitation. "The US is trying to undermine the Iran regime, using the Kurds like it is using the MEK [the anti-Tehran People's Mujahideen]," said Dr Logoglu. "Once you begin to differentiate between 'good' and 'bad' terrorist organisations, then you lose the war on terror." But he warned that military intervention might be ineffective and could be "disastrous" in destabilising the region.

(...)

General Joseph Ralston, the US special envoy dealing with the PKK issue, was less upbeat, admitting that "the potential for Turkish cross-border action" was growing. "We have reached a critical point in which the pressure of continued [PKK] attacks has placed immense public pressure upon the government of Turkey to take some military action. As the snows melt in the mountain passes, we will see if the PKK renews its attacks and how the Turkish government responds ... I hope the Turks will continue to stand by us."

But a Milliyet journalist, Kadri Gursel, said: "The US attitude has really pissed off the government and the army. The US really doesn't understand how exhausted and fed up they are."
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Postby Gouda » Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:07 pm

It may seem the Saudis are on board (with the Baker crew et al.) for a Kurdish nation, Kurdistan...
Um, on the condition they do not claim Kirkuk (and its oil) as their capital.

Get this:

Saudi Arabia offers Kurds 2 billion dollars to give up Kirkuk
dpa German Press Agency
Published: Tuesday April 3, 2007

http://rawstory.com/news/dpa/Saudi_Arab ... 32007.html

Baghdad- A Shiite newspaper published in Baghdad reported
Tuesday that Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani had turned down a
2-billion-dollar offer from the Saudis in return for giving up
demands to have oil-rich Kirkuk as the capital of Kurdistan.
Al-Bianh al-Jadidah newspaper said that the Saudi offer was made
to Barzani and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Borham Saleh when they
visited Saudi Arabia last month.

The Saudis asked for a 10-year freeze on the Kurdish demand to
incorporate Kirkuk in the north of Iraq into Kurdistan.

The newspaper said that an Iraqi government source, who did not
want to be named, said both Barzani and Saleh had declined to give in
to Saudi pressure to give up the "Kurds' historical rights to the
city."

(...)
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Postby Seamus OBlimey » Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:51 am

I'm not sure about the reliability or relevance of this Al Jazeera report, Iraq's such a hell of a mess it's hard to tell what's really going on.

US captured 'wrong Iranians'

US soldiers who captured five Iranians in the Iraq's northern city of Irbil three months ago were hoping to seize commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, a senior Kurdish leader has said.

Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish region government, said senior Guards leaders had been visiting Kurdish officials at the time of the January raid.

The five Iranian diplomats who were arrested in the raid on a house in Irbil were all innocent of US charges that they were helping co-ordinate attacks against US and Iraqi forces, Barzani told Dubai-based Al-Arabiyah television in remarks broadcast on Friday.

"It [the house] was not a secret Iranian office," Barzani said.

"It is impossible for us to accept that an Iranian office in Irbil was doing things against coalition forces or against us. That office was doing its work in a normal way and had they been doing anything hostile we would have known that."

"They [the Americans] did not come to detain the people [the five Iranians] in that office."

Barzani suggested that the US forces had instead hoped to captured senior members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards who were visiting the area at the time.

"There was an Iranian delegation, including Revolutionary Guards commanders, and they came as guests of the president," Barzani said, refering to Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president who is a Kurd.

"He was in Sulaimaniyah. They came to Sulaimaniyah and then I received a call from the president's office telling me that they wanted to meet me as well.

"They [the commanders] came here and they came openly. Their meetings with the president and myself were reported on television. The Americans came to detain this delegation, not the people in the office.

"They [Americans] came to the wrong place at the wrong time."

US accusations

Washington has said the five captured Iranians, who were seized in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region, were seized on suspicion that they were providing aid to Shia fighters who are targeting US and Iraqi troops and civilians.

On Wednesday, a US military spokesman said that an delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross had visited the captive Iranians.

On Friday, the US military issued a further statement clarifying that there were no Iranians in an Red Cross team that had visited the five detained Iranians.

The US has denied that it granted access to the Iranian captives as part of a deal which led to Iran freeing 15 British naval personnel who were seized by Iranian forces last month.

Al Jazeera
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Postby Gouda » Fri May 25, 2007 6:38 am

Exploiting the Ankara bombing. This one's not going away:

Turkey's battle plan could threaten northern Iraq
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europ ... index.html

ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- The war drums are getting louder in Turkey, and they can be heard next door in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, and across the globe in Washington as well.

Senior Turkish officers have said that operations against the PKK would require troops to cross into the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, which many PKK militants -- also long situated in southeastern Turkey -- have chosen as their base.

The PKK denies involvement in the Ankara attack, and a U.S. State Department spokesman cautions that the investigation into the attack is "ongoing."

However, the outrage in Turkey toward the PKK has been boiling over.
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Postby Gouda » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:08 am

2 former empires now shelling proxies of the present empire:

Turkish, Iranian cooperation against PKK irks Iraq and US
http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-27128.html

It seems the US is fine with this limited, stay-on-your-side of the fence shelling, as all sides are allowed to blow off some steam. This strategy would be part of the "Bush administration is very stupid" analysis.

But if we are talking about powers more enduring than the Bush administration redrawing maps of the middle east, then it may be effective to bait/draw all sides into a nasty mess over Kurdistan. In this devious plan, Iran and Turkish Islamists are demonized further (aggressors attacking Kurd civilians in autonomous Iraq!) and end up losing territory (and governments) a la Serbia in a "humanitarian" decision by the UN, or something. Regime change in Iran and Turkey down the line might also facilitate this, but the Serbia/Russia example does not offer much reason to expect that being easy, or assured. They'd need something else, something worse than the fabricated "ethnic cleansing" by Serbs on K. Albanians.
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Postby Gouda » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:00 am

Very interesting comments from a PKK leader in Iraqi Kurdistan:


[PKK Leader]: Turkey 'faces choice between democracy and dictatorship'
http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/ar ... 0:28-00:00

By Nicholas Birch in Kortek, Iraqi Kurdistan
Published: 09 July 2007

Closing your eyes and listening to his thoughts on Turkey's elections at the end of next week, you could almost mistake Cemil Bayik for a political analyst. He is not. In fact, he is one of the two most powerful figures in the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, whose 25-year war against the Turkish state has cost nearly 40,000 lives.

Speaking from his mountain stronghold on Iraq's border with Iran, he says: "Turkey is faced with a choice between democracy and authoritarianism. This debate about secularism and the Kurds is political manouevring - just a means for the powers that be to hold on to their influence."

This year, 67 soldiers have died fighting the PKK, in a wave of violence that at one stage looked as though it might even prevent elections from taking place. Talk of delays has now subsided. But terror - rather than the economy or EU reforms - still makes up the bulk of politicians' campaign speeches.

With 30,000 soldiers massed on the Iraqi border since late April, rumours are rife in Ankara this week that the government might return from holiday to vote for military operations. Asked whether this is what he wants, Mr Bayik insists it is not. The PKK declared a ceasefire in November 2006, he says, and his fighters are only using their "right of self-defence". It is a strange way to describe the conflict. Half of the soldiers killed this year were victims of Iraqi insurgent-style roadside bombs. But the strangest thing about the presence of 2,000 PKK militants in Turkey is that they are not even fighting for an independent Kurdish state any more. Since 1995, they have been fighting for democracy.

That is still some way off in south-eastern Turkey, admittedly. This April, a court ruled that four policemen who shot a 12-year-old boy nine times in the back at close range had acted in self-defence and acquitted them.

But the situation now is an improvement on the past. Before 1991, speaking Kurdish in public was illegal. Now, says Orhan Miroglu, a senior member of a pro-Kurdish party who many Turks see as a front for the PKK, "nobody questions our right to have political representation".

Mr Bayik also acknowledges there have been improvements. But he points to the refusal of Turkey's leaders to take the PKK's ceasefires seriously as evidence that Turkey's European Union-backed democratisation process is a sham.

"We're not fighting because we are in love with war. We're fighting because we have been given no alternative", he says.

An Ankara-based terrorism specialist Nihat Ali Ozcan, thinks the group is nervous about losing its grasp now, with elections approaching and Turkey's Kurdish vote split between nationalists and supporters of the religious-minded government.

Since 1995, when it realised it could not defeat the army head on, the PKK has seen conflict as a political tactic, he says. "This time, its aim is to strengthen ties with its civilian backers." But there is another, much more pragmatic way in which the PKK has benefited from conflict: fighting is good for discipline.

"When you're fighting, all you think about is survival," says Zuhal Serhat, who joined the PKK in 1995, aged 15. "It was when we stopped that we started asking questions."

She is referring to the five-year ceasefire that followed the capture of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999. His jailing split the organisation, with 1,500 fighters leaving the organisation between 2004 and 2005. Many went freely. Serhat fled by night through Saddam-era minefields and was led to safety by local shepherds. With the army barely 62 miles away, security in the PKK's mountain base is tighter than in the past. Visitors used to be able to walk in. Now bags and clothes are checked closely.

Despite everything, though, the mood appears relaxed. "A Turkish invasion of Iraq would lead to the division of Turkey," says Mr Bayik. "They won't just have us in opposition. They'll have the world." Rubar, a Russian Kurd who joined the PKK in 1994, agrees. "We've never been stronger", he says.

The Kurds' campaign

* OCTOBER 1978 Proclamation of independence and formal establishment of the PKK.
* 1984 Beginning of a full- scale guerrilla war against Turkey from bases mainly in Syria.
* JUNE 1994 Bombs explode in two Turkish resorts, injuring 10 foreign tourists.
* NOVEMBER 1998 First of a series of suicide attacks, many carried out by female bombers
* FEBRUARY 1999 PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan captured in Kenya. Sentenced to death, but commuted to life imprisonment.
* SEPTEMBER 2006 Latest in series of ceasefires that rebels say not observed by troops.
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Postby Gouda » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:45 pm

Iraqi FM: Turkey massing 140,000 troops
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070709/ap_ ... raq_turkey
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Postby Gouda » Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:36 am

TURKEY: Traffic Lights to Arbil Back on Red
Analysis by Jacques N. Couvas

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38510

ANKARA, Jul 12 (IPS) - It seems now certain: No invasion of Northern Iraq by the Turkish army before the legislative elections scheduled for Jul. 22. Disappointed? Many in Turkey are, not least the military. Surprised? Not a bit. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's fingers are expert at navigating between buttons of the yellow and red traffic lights of the road to Arbil.

(...)

In reality, Turkey is disappointed with U.S. support to the Iraqi government and its tolerance of PKK's growing terrorist actions within Eastern Turkey, with use of sophisticated foreign-supplied weapons. The Iraqi government has repeatedly reassured Turkey of its willingness to clamp down on the guerrillas.

The Turkish population, regardless of geography, political affiliation, or social class, is increasingly vocal in its anti-Americanism, as recent polls have revealed, and the press reflects on a daily basis. Ahead of the elections, some candidates adroitly use the "ugly American" card, and conspiracy theories abound.

Many analysts, including business executives and academics, seem genuinely convinced that the U.S. government is planning to create a Kurdish state, cutting into Iraq and Turkey, in a model inspired by the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

An opinion poll conducted in June on behalf of an Istanbul private university showed that 35.6 percent of Turks consider the United States, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) ally, a threat to their nation. The formation of an independent Kurdish state in Iraq ranks second as a major threat, with 25.8 percent, and even Israel is perceived as inimical to Turkish national interests by 4.2 percent of the persons interviewed.

The rationale for Americano-phobia is that, by creating an independent Kurdish state, the U.S. would seek to destabilise Syria and Iran, whose populations include large numbers of ethnic Kurds -- ranging between ten and seven percent of the country citizens.

An argument advanced to support this theory is that the Kurds of Iraq, who represent 20 to 25 percent of the country's population, were instrumental in the demise of Saddam's regime. They could, accordingly, be used to undermine social peace in Iran and Syria.

Rumours on the streets of Ankara and other cities around the country, as well as in the editorial offices of newspapers and TV stations, purport that the Turkish security services are in possession of videotapes of weapon deliveries by U.S. military staff to PKK combatants in Northern Iraq. These, say critics of the Bush administration, are proofs of U.S. perfidy.

Although the Prime Minister's reasons to postpone sine die the march to Arbil in northern Iraq are consistent with his pragmatism in many areas of his governance so far, it is less clear what the feelings, and plans, of the army are after Monday's news. It would seem unlikely that the, mildly put, 90-degree turn in policy, although temporary, could have been announced to action-hungry armed forces without previous consensus among the military staff, the presidency and the government. According to current reports, 80 percent of active career officers have submitted voluntary declarations for deployment in the combat zone.

A claim on Monday by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd from Northern Iraq, that Turkey had massed 140,000 soldiers on its border with Iraq put nerves to test both sides of the border. Turkey's military command had no comment, and the U.S. State Department said there has been no such massive build-up. Turkey possesses the largest military force among NATO member states, after the U.S.

In reality, however, Turkish forces are already operating within 15 to 25 Km (10 to 15 miles) beyond the border, in what is called an anti-terrorist and policing operation, with the tacit acceptance of the Iraqi government and the U.S. occupation authorities.

As Turkish tank commanders patiently queue up before the red light to the East, it is everyone's guess when, or whether, Erdogan's fingers will find the green button. (END/2007)
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Postby Gouda » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:49 am

Turkey: US Weapons in Guerrilla Hands
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/ ... 03217.html

Turkey's ambassador to Washington said Wednesday that U.S. weapons have been turning up in the hands of Kurdish guerrillas staging attacks in Turkey.

Nabi (nasdaq: NABI - news - people ) Sensoy said that the United States is not doing enough to influence Kurdish politicians in key positions in the Iraqi government to crack down on the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK, which has been fighting for an independent Kurdistan within Turkey for decades. He said that Turkey has been pressing the United States to ensure that U.S. weapons supplied to Kurdish forces within the Iraqi army are not funneled to the PKK.

He did not suggest that the U.S. has been supplying the PKK directly. But he accused Kurdish members of the Iraqi government of allowing the group to operate in northern Iraq and to stage cross border attacks into Turkey.

U.S. officials have said they are working closely with Turkey to combat the PKK but that their focus in Iraq is in combating insurgents opposing U.S. forces. The United States considers the PKK a terrorist group and has taken steps to cut off its international financing. But U.S. officials have had few examples of success against the PKK in Iraq to point to in answering Turkish concerns.

The perception in Turkey that the United States has ignored Turkish concerns about the PKK's operations in Iraq has increased pressure on the Turkish government to order military operations against the PKK in Iraq. The PKK has escalated attacks this year, killing at least 67 soldiers so far. More than 110 rebels were killed in the same period.

"I think the Turkish people have shown enough patience," Sensoy told reporters at a press breakfast. "We have to show the public some concrete results."

Turkey's military chief, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, recently asked his government to set political guidelines for an incursion into northern Iraq. The Turkish military has said that an incursion may be necessary because the U.S. and the Iraqi governments have failed to stop attacks across the border.

The issue is highly sensitive in Turkey, which has been battling the PKK since 1984 in a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people. Tension over whether the Turkish military will take action in Iraq has intensified as the country approaches an election later this month.

During the 1990s, Turkish troops penetrated Iraqi territory several times, sometimes with as many as 50,000 troops. The Turkish forces withdrew, leaving behind about 2,000 soldiers to monitor rebel activities.
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Postby Gouda » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:51 am

Bush's Turkish Gamble
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00859.html

By Robert D. Novak
Monday, July 30, 2007; Page A15

The morass in Iraq and deepening difficulties in Afghanistan have not deterred the Bush administration from taking on a dangerous and questionable new secret operation. High-level U.S. officials are working with their Turkish counterparts on a joint military operation to suppress Kurdish guerrillas and capture their leaders. Through covert activity, their goal is to forestall Turkey from invading Iraq.

While detailed operational plans are necessarily concealed, the broad outlines have been presented to select members of Congress as required by law. U.S. Special Forces are to work with the Turkish army to suppress the Kurds' guerrilla campaign. The Bush administration is trying to prevent another front from opening in Iraq, which would have disastrous consequences. But this gamble risks major exposure and failure.

The Turkish initiative reflects the temperament and personality of George W. Bush. Even faithful congressional supporters of his Iraq policy have been stunned by the president's upbeat mood, which makes him appear oblivious to the loss of his political base. Despite the failing effort to impose a military solution in Iraq, he is willing to try imposing arms -- though clandestinely -- on Turkey's ancient problems with its Kurdish minority, who comprise one-fifth of the country's population.

The development of an autonomous Kurdish entity inside Iraq, resulting from the decline and fall of Saddam Hussein, has alarmed the Turkish government. That led to Ankara's refusal to allow U.S. combat troops to enter Iraq through Turkey, an eleventh-hour complication for the 2003 invasion. As the Kurds' political power grew inside Iraq, the Turkish government became steadily more uneasy about the centuries-old project of a Kurdistan spreading across international boundaries -- and chewing up big pieces of Turkey.

The dormant Turkish Kurd guerrilla fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) came to life. By June, the Turkish government was demonstrating its concern by lobbing artillery shells across the border. Ankara began protesting, to both Washington and Baghdad, that the PKK was using northern Iraq as a base for guerrilla operations. On July 11, in Washington, Turkish Ambassador Nabi Sensoy became the first Turkish official to assert publicly that Iraqi Kurds have claims on Turkish territory. On July 20, just two days before his successful reelection, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened a military incursion into Iraq against the Kurds. Last Wednesday, Murat Karayilan, head of the PKK political council, predicted that "the Turkish Army will attack southern Kurdistan."

Turkey has a well-trained, well-equipped army of 250,000 near the border, facing some 4,000 PKK fighters hiding in the mountains of northern Iraq. But significant cross-border operations surely would bring to the PKK's side the military forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the best U.S. ally in Iraq. What is Washington to do in the dilemma of two friends battling each other on an unwanted new front in Iraq?

The surprising answer was given in secret briefings on Capitol Hill last week by Eric S. Edelman, a former aide to Vice President Cheney who is now undersecretary of defense for policy. Edelman, a Foreign Service officer who once was U.S. ambassador to Turkey, revealed to lawmakers plans for a covert operation of U.S. Special Forces to help the Turks neutralize the PKK. They would behead the guerrilla organization by helping Turkey get rid of PKK leaders that they have targeted for years.

Edelman's listeners were stunned. Wasn't this risky? He responded that he was sure of success, adding that the U.S. role could be concealed and always would be denied. Even if all this is true, some of the briefed lawmakers left wondering whether this was a wise policy for handling the beleaguered Kurds, who had been betrayed so often by the U.S. government in years past.

The plan shows that hard experience has not dissuaded President Bush from attempting difficult ventures employing the use of force. On the contrary, two of the most intrepid supporters of the Iraq intervention -- John McCain and Lindsey Graham-- were surprised by Bush during a recent meeting with him. When they shared their impressions with colleagues, they commented on how unconcerned the president seemed. That may explain his willingness to embark on such a questionable venture against the Kurds.
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Postby Gouda » Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:32 am

Blackwater helping out the PKK?

Turkey condemns US support for PKK
http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=2 ... =351020204

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan says US cooperation with the armed PKK movement can endanger Ankara-Washington relations.


**********

Feds Target Blackwater in Weapons Probe
LINK

(...)

In the United States, officials in Washington said the smuggling investigation grew from internal Pentagon and State Department inquiries into U.S. weapons that had gone missing in Iraq. It gained steam after Turkish authorities protested to the U.S. in July that they had seized American arms from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, rebels.

The Turks provided serial numbers of the weapons to U.S. investigators, said a Turkish official.

The Pentagon said in late July it was looking into the Turkish complaints and a U.S. official said FBI agents had traveled to Turkey in recent months to look into cases of missing U.S. weapons in Iraq.

Investigators are determining whether the alleged Blackwater weapons match those taken from the PKK.


It was not clear if Blackwater employees suspected of selling to the black market knew the weapons they allegedly sold to middlemen might wind up with the PKK. If they did, possible charges against them could be more serious than theft or illegal weapons sales, officials said.
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Postby Gouda » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:37 am

Iran shuts border with Iraqi Kurds
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast ... index.html

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Iran has closed its five entry points with Iraq's Kurdish region, in protest against the recent incarceration of an Iranian by the U.S. military, an Iraqi Kurdish official said Monday (...)

But Iraqi President Jalal Talabani -- who blasted the United States for the arrest -- said the Iranian official is a civil servant who was on an official trade mission in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The closures would cause "severe damage to markets and trade in the province on this blessed month," Talabani said, referring to Ramadan. He called for the man's release.
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Postby Gouda » Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:13 am

The previous head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijan (who recently resigned and is said to have been less hardline) claimed to have information on high-level US meetings with PKK representatives in Iraq.

(Whether the PKK are "terrorist" or not these days is open to interpretation - what's not open to interpretation American/Israeli skullduggery and Olympian gymnastics with regard to standards and definitions and its facilitation of Armageddon, or managed chaos in service of partition):

Larijani: US and PKK officials made negotiations in Mosul and Kirkuk
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=31371

(Emre Ozkan-JTW/Ankara) In Ankara yesterday (on May 8th), Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Larijan alleged that the US had made contacts and negotiated with the PKK in both Mosul and Kirkuk. Speaking at a dinner held in his honor at the Iranian Embassy in Ankara, Larjani said "If the US is fighting terrorism, why then is it meeting with the PKK in Mosul and Kirkuk?"

Insisting that the goal of the US was to create discord in the region, Larijani went on "This is why they are supporting separationist movements." In response to a question about whether or not he had detailed information about US-PKK contacts, Larijani said "Yes, I do have detailed information and official documents. And I have sent this to Turkish officials. The meeting between US and PKK forces took place a month ago, and was on the level of military commanders."
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