11 October, 2006

Kurdistan update:

Way back on 26 September I posted an item,Turkey and Iran to invade Kurdistan which reported DEBKA's conclusion that Turkey and Iran were shortly going to invade Kurdistan.

No invasion has occurred but Hellenic News of America has been examining the issue. Analysing the August 2006 issue of Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy and the Journal of the International Strategic Studies Association, HNA reports that since March of this year, the Turkish army has been involved in 53 operations against the Kurds, including one conducted jointly with Iranian troops; the Iranians have conducted a total of eight operations in the area.

The target of of the attacks was the Marxist, separatist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). The PKK is a terrorist group and it seems that Turkey has few qualms about the weapons to be used against the them. According to HNA,

It was reported by highly-reliable first-hand sources that Turkish forces, using chemical weapons, killed 14 Kurds on March 25, 2006. Documentary evidence has been seen by Defense & Foreign Affairs on issues relating to Turkish infrastructure of chemical and biological weapons, as well as a 1986 written order by a Turkish general authorizing use of chemical weapons against Kurds.
The US is obviously concerned about the possible consequences of these problems. Secretary of State, Condi Rice, has been visiting Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government; and, the International Herald Tribune reports that Retired Gen. Joseph Ralston, a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, has just arrived in Turkey. General Ralston is the U.S. special envoy for countering the PKK and he will be discussing ways of eliminating their bases in northern Iraq.

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