Friday, June 08, 2007

Analysis: Major Turkey incursion in Iraq would be U.S. nightmare

Left: An eclipse over Istanbul

A large-scale invasion of Northern Iraq by Turkish forces would be a nightmare for the United States and could destabilize the one part of the country that is relatively calm, analysts said on Thursday.

A Web site report on Wednesday that 50,000 Turkish troops poured into Northern Iraq to fight Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas set off alarms in Washington, where U.S. officials scurried to try to find out what, if anything, had happened.

While Turkish, U.S. and Iraqi officials denied any major incursion had taken place, a military source said Turkish troops conducted a limited raid across the mountainous border...

The risk, analysts said, is that Turkey might become drawn into a wider conflict with Iraqi Kurds even if it initially sought to conduct a small-scale operation, and that other countries, including Iran, might also feel emboldened.

"It could open a Pandora's box for the quagmire -- the fiasco -- in Iraq to turn into a regional quagmire, with regional countries starting to fight wars on Iraqi territory," said Brookings Institution analyst Omer Taspinar.

Read the rest at ABC News