Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Conflicting reports on Turkish troops in Iraq

Above: PKK fighters in Iraq. The Associated Press has cited military sources as saying several thousand Turkish troops had crossed into Iraq in pursuit of the PKK. Also earlier today the Cihan news agency -- Turkey's largest -- stated in a headline that 'Turkish army launches massive offensive in SE Turkey'. A few hours later, the headline read 'Turkish forces do not cross Iraqi border; military action still continues'.

U.S. says no new military activity in northern Iraq

U.S. officials have said that there was "no new activity" in northern Iraq after unconfirmed reports that thousands of Turkish troops had invaded, the White House said on on Wednesday.

"Both the Turkish government and U.S. officials on the ground say it's not occurring," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said at the G8 summit. "There's been no new activity to lead to these press reports," he added...

"The Turkish government reports there's been no new incursion into Iraq. U.S. officials on the ground confirm no new activity. We remain concerned about the PKK and their use of northern Iraq as a safe haven, and we will continue to work with both the Turkish and Iraqi governments to deal with that threat," Johndroe said.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet

Iraq says sees no sign of incursion by Turkish army

Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Wednesday there was no evidence that Turkish troops had crossed the Iraqi border to launch a military operation against Turkish rebels hiding in the mountains.

"We have checked all along the border and there hasn't been any incursion or military operation inside Iraqi territory," he told Reuters.

"Iraq will not tolerate any military incursion. There is always room for dialogue," he said.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet

Iraqi Kurds deny incursion by Turkish troops

Government officials in the northern Iraqi autonomous region of Kurdistan on Wednesday denied media reports that Turkish troops had crossed the border into Iraq to hunt for Turkish rebels.

Fouad Hussein, the head of the office of Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani, said the government had no knowledge of any invasion.

"Up to this moment, there is no incursion by Turkish troops into the Iraq Kurdistan region. But I don't know if the troops have entered into distant parts of the mountains, situated between Iraq and Turkey," he told Reuters.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet

Turkish 'Military Official': Troops made 'limited' operation into Iraq

Turkish troops conducted a "limited operation" into northern Iraq in recent days in pursuit of Kurdish rebels, a military official said on Wednesday.

"This cannot be called a cross-border operation, it is a limited operation," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official noted it was not unusual for troops to make "hot pursuit" raids across the mountainous border into Iraq, where an estimated 4,000 rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are believed to be hiding.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet

Related Link:
'Security Officials': Several thousand Turkish troops cross into northern Iraq