Iraq, Kurdistan, Turkey, Iran--Let the conflagration begin?

Sunday, April 30, 2006 at 08:33 PM

Major fears about the virtually autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq have been:

Kurdish rebels from Turkey and/or Iran will use it as a safe haven in their war with Turkey and Iran

It will eventually secede from Iraq and form a truly independent Kurdistan, which will encourage Kurdish areas in Turkey and Iran to attempt to join Kurdistan

Well, it looks like number 1 is already happening.

By way of Information Clearinghouse:

1. Turkey embraces 'hot pursuit' in northern Iraq.
By Owen Matthews, Newsweek International

May 8, 2006 issue - Could another front be opening in the Iraq war? Over recent weeks, some 200,000 Turkish troops, backed by tanks and helicopter gunships, have massed along the mountainous border with Iraq. Trucks passing from Turkey, ferrying the imported goods and foodstuffs that are the lifeblood of the Kurdish economy, have slowed from 1,000 a day to just a couple of hundred. The Turkish military says its troops are there only to prevent armed insurgents of the Kurdish PKK rebel group from crossing into Turkey from their bases on Iraq's Kandil Mountain. But last week, according to angry Foreign Ministry officials in Baghdad, Turkish commandos briefly crossed 15 kilometers into Iraqi territory in pursuit of PKK rebels--a move that could signal dangerous new frictions to come.

2. Turkish Armed Forces Strike PKK Camps in N. Iraq, By National News Desk, Istanbul

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Turkish armed forces have launched their first military operation along the Iraqi border where Turkish troops have concentrated for days.

The Northern Iraqi cities of Amedi and Zaho, sheltering Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) militants, were hit with mortar attacks in "Operation Crescent."

First reports say that locations where militants were lodged in the regions of Geliye, Pisaxa, Pirbela, Sheshdara, Sheranish and Elanish were demolished.

The "Burgundy Beret" units performed a recognizance mission in the area a while ago as part of the Special Forces Command.

Troop deployment to the region from different parts of the country continues.

Along with the transfer of commandos, heavy construction equipment is also being brought to the border for use during a possible cross-border operation.

The Iranian military extended their operation 10 kilometers to maintain security along the border.

A security cordon has been established to ensure the safety of troops that check not only Mt. Cudi, but other passages and routes for safety.


Iraq has become increasingly concerned over a major Turkish military invasion of Kurdistan.

The two countries have met to discuss what diplomatic sources said was Turkish military deployment along the Iraqi border. The sources said Baghdad asserted that Turkish troops have been entering Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish insurgents.

"This [deployment] is only aimed to prevent infiltrations of the terrorist organization into Turkey," Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said. "Our security forces are taking measures because with the arrival of spring the terrorists have become active and are infiltrating our borders."

So far, the Turkish military was said to have penetrated 10 kilometers into Iraq in the operation against the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK. Ankara has been aided by a 2,000-soldier Turkish contingent, based in northern Iraq prior to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

4. Iran 'attacks Iraq Kurdish area', by BBC

April 30, 2006

Iraq has accused Iranian forces of entering Iraqi territory and shelling Kurdish rebel positions in the north. Iranian troops bombed border areas near the town of Hajj Umran before crossing into Iraq, the defence ministry in Baghdad said on Sunday.

It said the Iranians targeted the PKK, a Kurdish group that has waged a 15-year insurgency against Turkey. The PKK is believed to have links with anti-Iranian Kurdish fighters. There are no details on casualties.

The Iraqi defence ministry also says Iran launched a similar attack on Kurdish rebel positions in the same area on 21 April.

There are no reported comments from Tehran on either of the alleged incidents.

Lets see: Iranian troops in Iraq, at the same time that Iran and the US are at each other's throats over nuclear programs and American claims that Iran is aiding the insurgents in Iraq.  Sounds good, doesn't it.  I bet you're totally suprised by:

5. Report: Turkey won't let U.S. attack Iran from its land, By YNetNews

April 30, 2006 "YNetNews" -- -- Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Sunday that his country refused a request from the United States to attack Iran from its Air Force base in Incirlik, despite the U.S. offer of a nuclear reactor, according to a report in Al Biyan.

In an interview for the United Arab Emirates newspaper, Gul noted that America's efforts to attack Iran are "imaginary" and that Turkey's stance is "strategic" and refuses the use of its land for any belligerent activity against neighboring countries.

Turkey attacking Iraq.  Iran attacking Iraq.  Turkey drawing closer to Iran as they fear a common enemy (rebelling Kurds).  Iraqi Kurds likely to hold it against the US if the US doesn't protect them from Turkey and Iran.  Shiite Iraqis drawing closer to Iran.

What was it that Sean Vannity used to bellow at top volume to anyone who questioned the Iraq invasion?  Oh, right: "Are we better off without Saddam?"

I think the answer to that absurd Vannity question is, was, always will be: "it depends on what we get instead, you incredible excuse for a thinking member of this species."