Turkish planes pound rebels along border

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Aggie08, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    Turkish planes pound rebels along border

    By VOLKAN SARISAKAL, Associated Press Writer
    11 minutes ago



    CIZRE, Turkey - Turkish warplanes and helicopter gunships reportedly pounded Kurdish rebel positions along the Turkey-Iraq border Wednesday, broadening military operations against insurgents amid persistent fears Turkey will launch a major offensive inside Iraq.

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    Turkish Cabinet members and military generals held a six-hour meeting in Ankara to discuss a possible operation in northern Iraq, but decided to recommend the government take economic measures first to force cooperation by Iraqis against Kurdish rebels.

    The state-run Anatolia news agency reported that Turkish warplanes and attack helicopters bombed mountain paths used by rebels to cross the porous border from Iraq and stage hit-and-run attacks against soldiers in southeastern Turkey.

    Residents in the Iraqi Kurdish village of Derishkit told an Associated Press reporter that two Turkish jet fighters struck a target on the banks of the Zey-Gowra River about four miles inside Iraq. They were unable to offer any more details about the apparent attack.

    An AP Television News cameraman also saw eight F-16s loaded with bombs and attack helicopters take off after nightfall from a base in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir. The cameraman also saw about a dozen transport helicopters fly along Mount Cudi near the border with Iraq and at least one warplane fly past Cizre, a town close to the border.

    The Anatolia news agency report said the warplanes and helicopters took off from Diyarbakir and "are reported to have bombed and destroyed bases of the terrorists."

    Pentagon officials declined to confirm reports of airstrikes.

    "I don't know of any Turkish airstrikes in that area today," Maj. Gen. Richard Sherlock, Joint Chiefs of Staff operational planning director, told a Defense Department press conference.

    The reported airstrikes come after days of Turkish shelling in the region. On Sunday, Turkish helicopter gunships penetrated Iraqi territory after Kurdish rebels ambushed a Turkish military convoy near the border, killing 12 soldiers and leaving eight others missing.

    U.S.-made Cobra and Super Cobra attack helicopters also chased Kurdish rebels three miles into Iraqi territory on Sunday before returning to their bases in Turkey, a government official said Wednesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    Turkey, which has moved troops to the Iraq border, warned Iraq and Western allies on Tuesday that a large-scale incursion was imminent unless the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad takes action against the rebels. The Turkish government said there would be no cease-fire with the fighters, who seek autonomy in Turkey's heavily Kurdish southeast.

    After the meeting Wednesday, Cabinet officials and military leaders decided to recommend the government "to first take necessary economic measures against those groups directly or indirectly supporting the separatist terrorist organization in the region," a statement said.

    The target of the economic measures was not made clear in the statement, but Turkey has been pondering sanctions to force the Iraqi Kurds to cooperate in its fight against the separatist rebels of PKK, the acronym of Kurdistan Workers' Party.

    The self-ruling Kurdish administration in Iraq's north has benefited from Turkish investment for construction works, including airports and housing projects. Ankara is also selling electricity to northern Iraq, and much of the imported food and other supplies comes from Turkey.

    In the Netherlands, Pentagon chief Robert Gates also said he saw little sense in airstrikes or major ground assaults by U.S., Turkish, or other forces against rebels in northern Iraq until more is known about their locations along the border.

    "Without good intelligence, just sending large numbers of troops across the border (from Turkey) or dropping bombs doesn't seem to make much sense to me," Gates said.

    Turkey's military and civilian leaders face growing demands at home to stage an offensive in northern Iraq, where the PKK rebels rest, train and get supplies in relative safety before heading to Turkey to conduct attacks.

    Turkey has long pressed Iraq to capture and extradite Kurdish rebel leaders.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also has ordered the closure of all PKK offices in Iraq and said they would not be allowed to operate in Iraqi territory. In addition, the U.S. on Tuesday issued its most direct demand yet for anti-rebel measures from the government of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

    About 100 members of the official defense forces of Iraq's Kurdish region were headed Wednesday for a camp near the border city of Dahuk, 260 miles northwest of Baghdad.

    One of them, who would only identify himself as Capt. Ziad, said his troops had been mobilized from Irbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdish region. "We want to prevent the conflict in Turkey from coming across the border," he said.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Christopher Torchia in Istanbul, Douglas Birch in Derishkit, Iraq, and Yahya Barzanji in Dahuk, Iraq, contributed to this report.
     
  2. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I bet the Turks would love to give it proper to the Kurds but Uncle Sam is holding them back.

    Can't say peace in Iraq if the Turks are blowing stuff up.

    I bet relations between the Turks and America are not good. The Turks will do nothing to anger washington but want to go Kurd hunting. also saying that the Armenian killings was genocide must be annoying the turks too.

    But America also needs Turkey as a player too.
     
  3. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    Can't say peace in Iraq with the U.S. anywhere near it either. It was bound to happen, everyone's pissed and it's spread beyond the borders.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I spent some time with the PKK up in northern Iraq. I found them to be generous people and they really supported and backed us (which is obvious when you see how Saddam treated them).
     
  5. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    A difficult situation at best, the Coalition needs to keep friendly terms with both the Kurds and the Turkish. The best course of action, in my opinion, if war did break out was to leave them to duke it out. Unfortunately neutrality is probably the best situation for the Coalition to find itself in.

    If the Turks do invade it does jeopadize their E.U bid, and that's more likely to be holding them back than the U.S.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    They dont deserve to be in the EU anyhow.
     
  7. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Most people should be aware that I despise Turkey, and they certainly shouldn't be in the EU. Even more so after they pulled the race card out with "It's a Christian Union" - trying to call Europe racist. It may seem Christian because Europe is Christian!
    The only reason Turkey has a slither of a claim is because the Ottoman's captured Constantiople in 1453. It's a shame there was a crusade for the Byzantines, so we could reclaim it. Obviously the Europeans didn't know the lasting effect it would have.
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I am just worried about what will happen if the Turks get into the EU. They allready come over to Germany and free load as much as they can and if they are in the EU the borders will be completely open to them and they will all come!
     
  9. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I hate this modern version of Europe - when they allow Israel into the Euro finals, or Eurovision song contest - I mean, Israel is nowhere near Europe!
     
  10. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    That is kind of funny...
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Its true. Both Israel and Turkey are included in the Euro 2008. I can somewhat understand why Israel is because it would not be good to include them in the Mid East groups and games, well because...
     
  12. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Of course. But geographically it's not in Europe - I've had arguments about Europe's nations many times, with many people.

    Israel is not in Europe.
    Turkey (unfortunately) is Eurasian.
    Russia is Eurasian.

    Russia and Turkey are the only two cross continent countries in the world. Turkey is because of its capture of Constantinople in 1453 and Russia is because when Europe was drawn on the map the tribe Rus was the end of the 'world' - and anything further east was mysterious... but then Rus became Russia.

    Continents were never political entities and their lines CANNOT change...they were drawn up simply by people with a pencil circling places on the planet (not quite circles).
     
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