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Turkish PM agrees to raids into northern Iraq | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
The Turkish government yesterday yielded to its opponents in the army command, giving the go-ahead to the military to stage raids into northern Iraq against Kurdish separatist insurgents.

Despite opposition from Washington and doubts within the government that the action will be effective, the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, decided that the military would be allowed to conduct limited operations against the PKK army of Kurdish fighters holed up in the Qandil mountain on Iraq's border with Iran.

Iraq promptly voiced its anxiety at the decision. The Turkish and Iraqi governments signed a counterterrorism pact 10 days ago, but it did not permit the Turkish army to conduct military operations in Iraq.

The PKK has killed 15 Turkish soldiers and 12 civilians in ambushes in south-eastern Turkey in the past 10 days, the highest casualty toll in years. Turkish television has repeatedly broadcast emotional scenes of the funerals of the dead soldiers, while newspaper headlines have urged the government to move into Iraq.

by Fran on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 12:01:15 AM EST
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