Turkey unlikely to extend operation, claims Iraq

Iraq said on Wednesday it believed Ankara was unlikely to conduct an extended operation inside northern Iraq to flush out PKK militants who are attacking Turkey.

Turkey unlikely to extend operation, claims Iraq
"We believe Turkey is not going to extend the operation. It is a limited operation," Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.

Around 500 Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq on Tuesday targeting PKK militants hiding in the mountainous terrain along the border with Turkey.

The ground incursion was the first such operation by Ankara since tensions between the two neighbiours broke out after the militants ambushed a Turkish military patrol on October 21 and killed 12 soldiers.

On Tuesday evening, Iraqi Kurdish officials from northern Iraq said that Ankara had started withdrawing the troops.

Dabbagh said he did not know if Turkish forces had withdrawn completely.

"It is difficult to say as the area there is not easy to track," he said.

"We feel this issue will not be solved militarily. Any such action is an attack on Iraq's sovereignty," he said.

On Tuesday, Turkey's military confirmed the operation and said it had dealt a "heavy blow" to the militants.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Aralık 2007, 17:11