Friday, Mar. 19, 2010

October 2007
Trouble on the Border

"We will never accept a military solution to the differences between Turkey and Iraq."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki responding to the Turkish government's efforts to gain parliamentary approval for military raids into northern Iraq

Tension between Turkey and Iraq mounts as guerilla fighters of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK, continue launching attacks against Turkish troops from northern Iraq. On Oct. 17, Turkey's parliament overwhelmingly votes in favor of sending soldiers into Iraq to destroy the PKK hideouts there as Turkish officials blast the U.S. for what they call a lack of support in quelling the guerilla attacks. Concerned that such an invasion might de-stabilize the region, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urges restraint while downplaying the country's criticism of America. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, an ethnic Kurd, calls for an end to the PKK's attacks but, echoing U.S. sentiment, stresses the need for a diplomatic solution. Despite calls for restraint, Turkish troops would later invade Iraq in March during a week-long ground incursion. Though U.S. officials pressed Turkey for a swift mission, they would supply the NATO ally with intelligence about the PKK hideouts there.