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Turkish Troops Enter Iraq

From CNN:

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Several thousand Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq early Wednesday to chase Kurdish guerrillas who operate from bases there, Turkish security officials said.


Two senior security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said the raid was limited in scope and that it did not constitute the kind of large incursion that Turkish leaders have been discussing in recent weeks.

"It is not a major offensive and the number of troops is not in the tens of thousands," one of the officials told The Associated Press by telephone. The official is based in southeast Turkey, where the military has been battling separatist Kurdish rebels since they took up arms in 1984.

The officials did not say where the Turkish force was operating in northern Iraq, nor did he say how long they would be there.

The officials said any confrontation with Iraqi Kurdish groups, who have warned against a Turkish incursion, could trigger a larger cross-border operation. The Turkish military has asked the government in Ankara to approve such an incursion, but the government has not given formal approval.

An official at military headquarters in Ankara declined to confirm or deny the report that Turkish troops had entered Iraq.

Turkish troops have occasionally launched brief raids in pursuit of guerrillas in northern Iraq, and have sometimes shelled suspected rebel positions across the border. Turkish authorities rarely acknowledge such military operations, which were more frequent before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Update: We have more details on what happened. It was a "hot pursuit" and not an incursion.

One official said several thousand troops went less than two miles inside Iraq and were still there in late afternoon. "It is a hot pursuit, not an incursion," one official said.


Another official said by telephone it was "not a major offensive and the number of troops is not in the tens of thousands." He also said the Turkish troops went into a remote, mountainous area.

A third official, based in the border region, said 600 commandos entered Iraq, and were backed up by several thousand troops along the border. He said the commandos raided Iraqi territory across from the Turkish border town of Cukurca before dawn after rebels opened fire from Iraqi soil on Turkish patrols.

The official said the commandos returned to their bases in Turkey later in the day. There was no immediate explanation for the conflicting accounts of the officials.

All three officials are based in southeast Turkey, where the military has been battling separatist Kurdish rebels since they took up arms in 1984.

The officials stood by their statements despite denials from Turkish and Iraqi officials.


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Comments (36)

Another example of Bush's i... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Another example of Bush's incompetence. The tenuous situation between the Turks and Kurds were well know even before the invasion. Turkey did not allow us to use their land to launch an invasion because of this.

For years Turkey has complained about terrorist attacks from Iraq, and the Bush administration did nothing about it. How ironic that Bush is the appeaser, protector and benefactor of terrorists.

Barney, you're just trying ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Barney, you're just trying so hard! Never give up...some day you may actually be able to bend reality to your will.

Barney, youre an idiot, how... (Below threshold)
pretzel_logic:

Barney, youre an idiot, how many times did this take place during the Clinton/Lowinski administration??
Dozens

This was predicted -- repea... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

This was predicted -- repeatedly.

Well, at least they won't g... (Below threshold)

Well, at least they won't go hungry. They brought plenty of Turkish Taffy. Heh.

Turkey did not allow us ... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Turkey did not allow us to use their land to launch an invasion because of this.
That's one of the dumbest things I've seen you say Barney, and that's saying a lot.

"For years Turkey has compl... (Below threshold)
Brad:

"For years Turkey has complained about terrorist attacks from Iraq, and the Bush administration did nothing about it."

**Don't you morons on the Left always maintain there were no terrorists in Iraq? Hell, you idiots don't want us to do anything about terrorist attacks on us, but you expect us to defend Turkey as a priority. Dumbass.

BarneyG, don't feel put upo... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

BarneyG, don't feel put upon. You have said much stupider stuff than what you posted here today. I am sure the next thing you write will be even dumber that what you first wrote. I have every faith in you ability to be really stupid.

Barney, really, that's the ... (Below threshold)
MIkey60:

Barney, really, that's the best you got today? I'm not going to comment on your obvious inanity and callowness; it would give shooting fish in a barrel a bad name.

Folks on the right have hel... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Folks on the right have held up the Kurdish-controlled areas of Iraq as an example of how things are so much better since the invasion. Now the general chaos there has emboldened the Turks to invade northern Iraq and the Kurds are in just as much trouble as everybody else.

Brad, you beat me to it. Th... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Brad, you beat me to it. The lefty loons will do, twist, spin anything to harm GW. The hate is that deep. If this has been going on for 23 years, at least Barney had finally caught up. ww

We can only hope that Bush ... (Below threshold)

We can only hope that Bush will support Turkey in destroying Iraq's infrastructure through air assaults from end of the country to the other like they did with Israel attacking Lebanon.

There's no difference in the two situations. In both cases, the country that was attacked (Turkey and Israel) by terrorists who have sanctuary in a neighboring country (Iraq and Lebanon) should have the right to take whatever action they deem necessary to stop the attacks.

Right???

Turkey is fearful that the ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Turkey is fearful that the Kurds in Iraq will gain power over separate territory in Iraq. Either as a separate nation, if Iraq is split up, or as a province.

This would give the Kurds within Turkey encouragement, and possibly push the Turkish Kurds to civil war in Turkey. Which could have the effect of splitting up Turkey, and further destabilizing the entire region.

that's the current situation.

Separately, I note a lot of trash-talking about Barney's statement, but no actual refutation of it.

I found this article:... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

I found this article:

Turkey's Ministry of Defense is preparing a plan of military invasion into the North of Iraq. This information was made public by the local media on Tuesday. The objects of attack will be the terrorist bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party. 7/19/06

This was a year ago! Good thing Bush is on the ball.

Separately, I note a lot... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Separately, I note a lot of trash-talking about Barney's statement, but no actual refutation of it.

I'm actually supposed to refute him saying that Turkey didn't allow to use their territory because of the situation between the Turks and the Kurds? Do you really need a history lesson for four years ago?
Okay, I'll do it even though I have a feeling it's worse than useless.
They didn't allow us to invade through their country because they wanted a bigger bribe than Bush was willing to offer.

Barney:For years ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Barney:
For years Turkey has complained about terrorist attacks from Iraq, and the Bush administration did nothing about it.

ROFL! Now that was funny! Thanks for the laugh, seriously.

Turkey has long held fears ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Turkey has long held fears that a strong Kurdish government in Iraq could encourage Kurds within Turkey to demand similar autonomy.

The Turkish military has sounded warnings about any Kurdish control of Kirkuk. "We have repeatedly said that such a situation may make the election results in Kirkuk disputable and make it almost impossible to find a fair and lasting solution for Kirkuk," Gen. Ilker Basbug, the second most powerful military leader in Turkey told a news conference this week.

"Moreover, we are concerned that such developments will pose a threat to Iraq's territorial and political unity and create a great security problem in the region," he said. "Such a development will also create a serious security problem for Turkey."

Turkey already maintains a military base with an estimated 5,000 soldiers near the Northern Iraqi city Dohuk. The Turkish government has - in the past - repeatedly threatened to invade Iraq if ethnic Turks in Iraq are threatened, or if Kurds try to take control of Kirkuk. 1/29/05

"They [Turkey]did... (Below threshold)
OBGyns practicing their love:

"They [Turkey]didn't allow us to invade through their country because they wanted a bigger bribe than Bush was willing to offer." Veeshit

What kind of unknowing ass are you to make such an absurd claim? You are like the Bush foreign policy staff: totally ignorant of regional political & historical conditions.

Veeshir you are correct in ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Veeshir you are correct in why Turkey did not allow us to enter through their country at the beginning of the war.

Ask the greeks about the Turks. ww

Yup, worse than useless. <b... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Yup, worse than useless.
Honest people already remember what happened, dishonest people insult and deny reality without explaining what I'm too ignorant to know.

Well, maybe not worse than useless, I did get a laugh out of this
You are like the Bush foreign policy staff: totally ignorant of regional political & historical conditions.
Why is that funny? Because I bet a dollar that this anonymous poster has said that al Quaeda would never deal with secular Iraq.

Oh, and CNN is backtracking... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Oh, and CNN is backtracking on their story. Click the link again. It's changed.

Also, note this (warning, source not noted for reliability but it's a Reuter's story so it's marginally more reliable).
Jabar Yawir, deputy minister for Peshmerga Affairs in Kurdistan, said: "This afternoon 10 Turkish helicopters landed in a village in Mazouri, which is ... 3 km (2 miles) inside the Iraqi border. They landed with around 150 Turkish special forces."
"After two hours they left and there were no confrontations with the PKK," he told Reuters. He said the village was in a PKK-controlled area.

It's not Jamil Hussein, but it could still be a reliable source.

Let's see.If it ha... (Below threshold)
Ben:

Let's see.

If it happened, it is an example of Bush's ignorance.

Therefore, according to Left-think, if it DIDN'T Happen, it must be an example of Bush's brilliance!

Well, for 4 years post invasion it didn't happen, and now it appears to be a very minor flash in the pan. Ergo, it must be an example that Bush is mostly pretty smart.

Ben

Ben, so you are saying Bush... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Ben, so you are saying Bush is correct to allow Kurd terrorists to attack Turkey, allow the Kurd terrorists a safe haven in Iraq and for Turkey to send over special forces into Iraq to fight the terrorists?

NRO is all over this and no... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

NRO is all over this and not very happy with Bush. Here is one story they link to (6/1/07) that highlights the total incompetence of the Bush administration:

Asked whether U.S. officials held high-level conversations with Turkish officials, to "encourage" them not to consider doing anything unilaterally with northern Iraq, Casey said that General Ralston had been in regular contact with Turkish government officials and, his message had been and continued to be one of promoting cooperation on this subject.


So five days later Casey is proved the fool.

Man, Barney, you've gotta r... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Man, Barney, you've gotta relax. This Turkey/ Kurd business has been going on alot longer than there has been a Bush administration. Please avail yourself of reading the book "A Peace To End All Peace". It will help you understand how these ethnic differences in the Middle East have been spawned despite there being no Bush Administration in the early 20th century.

DaveD, you are assuming Bar... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

DaveD, you are assuming Barney Google knows how to read!

Barney, if that is your sta... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Barney, if that is your standard. That is when the people you are dealing with do not do as you asked, that you are made the fool of. Seems William Jefferson Clinton asked North Korea not to enrich uranium. They did not do as WJC asked therefore you BarneyG2000 are a fool. My logic is every bit as good as yours if not better. How long has it been that the Turks and the Kurds have been in dispute? It must be time travel again for this to be Bush's fault. As is the ususal case for the loons on the left. The actual perps are not responsible for their actions. Just the Bush adminstration. Barny, maybe it is time the Ottoman empire totally fall. That would give the Kurds a Kurdistan.

Rag, you think the Ottoman'... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Rag, you think the Ottoman's still rule Turkey?

Also, there is little evidence to suggest that NK was actively enriching uranium during the framework of the accord. It was not until after Bush reneged on the deal that NK starting actively enriching uranium.

barneyGRUBBLE:... (Below threshold)
marc:

barneyGRUBBLE:

For years Turkey has complained about terrorist attacks from Iraq, and the Bush administration did nothing about it. How ironic that Bush is the appeaser, protector and benefactor of terrorists.

Correct me if I'm wrong: Bush was all but hung for being a "unilateralist" and "cowboy" for going into Iraq alone in a "war of choice" yet here GRUBBLE is complaining Bush is an "appeaser, protector and benefactor of terrorists."

All the while ignoring the months of diplomacy conducted leading up to the war.

P Hamilton:

Now the general chaos there has emboldened the Turks to invade northern Iraq and the Kurds are in just as much trouble as everybody else.

General chaos? OK. surely you have some refs that demonstrate that?

barneyGRUBBLE:

So five days later Casey is proved the fool.

Ah... no. Five days later officials considered the options and as a sovereign nation acted accordingly to protect its citizenry.

Turkey and Kurdistan: Behin... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Turkey and Kurdistan: Behind the Non-Invasion

"All of a sudden, it looked like the sum of all fears -- a full-fledged Turkish intervention in Iraq due to Kurdish ambitions -- was manifesting.

It wasn't"

[ . . . ]

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003370.php

So far nobody has mentioned... (Below threshold)
kim:

So far nobody has mentioned the Kurds in the old USSR or in Iran.

I'm a little amused by the shallowness of the discussion from the lefties and with their willingness to accomodate any statement as long as it trashes something about this administration.

Kurdistan is a reality. It will gradually grow.

Kirkuk was Kurdish until Saddam holocausted it and settled Sunni Arabs. It has oil. Why the F does Turkey have anything to say about it? Oh yes, it was Kurdish, and it has oil.

Saladin was a Kurd. We may see another historical figure emerge from these mountainous and buffer region people.
=========================

Uh Barnee giggle you dumbas... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Uh Barnee giggle you dumbass twit. This has been going on since 1984. Bush has been Prez longer then I thought. Damn, must have over slept.

If Iraq took Turkey from be... (Below threshold)
jim:

If Iraq took Turkey from behind, would Greece help?

jim, the Young Alexander.<b... (Below threshold)
kim:

jim, the Young Alexander.
===============

No one can officially find ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

No one can officially find where this "invasion" happened. Iraq says no, our state department and Turkey says no. BG2 is wrong AGAIN. ww

Barney: "Ben, so you are s... (Below threshold)
Ben:

Barney: "Ben, so you are saying Bush is correct to allow... blah blah etc."

Gee Barney, I don't know. Am I saying that? The Alzheimers must be acting up again, cause I have no memory of that. If you can find any record of me ever saying that, I'll assume you're right, otherwise, I'll simply assume you're an idiot.

What I did say, which you missed entirely, is basically that if X proves Y, then Not X must prove Not Y. Ergo, if Turkish invasion proves Bush=Dumb, then No Turkish Invasion proves Bush = NOT Dumb. It's simple logic. If Both X and Not X lead to Y, then X is not proof, or example, or in any way related. You must show correlation, and if both the thesis and antithesis correlate equally, then there is no correlation!

Ben




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