Parliament approves military operations in northern Iraq

Published 06.10.2011 12:20
Updated 06.10.2011 12:28

Turkey’s parliament passed a bill extending permission, as it has done several times since 2007, for the Turkish military to mount cross-border operations against terrorists in northern Iraq during the coming year.

Turkish air and artillery operations against PKK terrorists in the Qandil Mountains have intensified since August, straining relations with the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq.
The strikes were ordered, after a gap of more than a year, in retaliation for an increase in PKK attacks on security forces inside Turkey. Turkey has launched air and ground operations across the border several times in the past. The last incursion was in 2008, when it sent in 10,000 troops backed by air power.
Iraq says Turkey still has 1,300 troops in Iraqi territory manning small observation posts set up in the 1990s with Baghdad's permission.
The renewed violence is another setback for a government initiative in recent years to boost the rights of minority Kurds who account for up to 15 million of Turkey's 74 million population.

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