Monday, July 24, 2006

Turks Massing on Iraq Border

July 24, 2006: It appears Turkey is preparing to conduct a larger anti-PKK operation in northern Iraq. The Turkish government told the US that (paraphrasing) "Turkey will decide (not the US)" if Turkish troops enter Iraq in force." Turkish intelligence consistently reports that from 4000 to 5000 PKK guerrillas are operating from bases inside northern Iraq.

July 22, 2006: Turkish military sources reported Turkish security forces in SIrnak province killed two PKK rebels. The Turkish units were looking for PKK infiltrators in the area.

July 20, 2006: An Iraqi Kurd official claimed that Iran had once again shelled an Iraq Kurd village in northern Iraq. The statement said that Iranian artillery had fired on an area 170 kilometers north of Sulaimaniya. (No name was given for the village.) In January and early February 2006 Iran was accused of firing on Iranian Kurd rebels who were based inside Iraq.

July 19, 2006: Turkish sources reported that two sergeants involved in the Semdinli bookstore bomb attack (November 9, 2005) were convicted of the crime. The bomb attack killed one person and injured five others. It lead to months of protests in Kurdish areas of Turkey. Turkish (expecially Turkish Kurd) public opinion tends to believe that the sergeants could not have acted without the "guidance" of senior military officers. Both noncoms were sentenced to 39 years in jail.

July 18, 2006: European sources reported that Turkey is once again preparing to send a large military force into northern Iraq to attack PKK bases. One report said that Turkey was actually trying to force the US and Iraqi governments to take action against the PKK. Turkey already has approximately 2000 troops in northern Iraq, which conduct recon activities (monitoring the PKK).

July 17, 2006: Turkey expressed "concern" over incursions into Turkey by PKK guerrillas using bases in northern Iraq.

July 16, 2006: PKK rebels attacked a Turkish military unit near the town of Eruh (Siirt province). Seven soldiers and one paramilitary guard died in the ambush. Five other Turkish soldiers died in a series of firefights in the area that began on July 13.

Turkish security troops killed on PKK guerrilla in a firefight in Bingol province.

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