Turkish army demands extension of N. Iraq mandate

The request coincides with a Turkish government bid to boost the rights of Kurds.

Turkish army demands extension of N. Iraq mandate

Turkey's military has requested an extension of the mandate to launch army operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, Turkish broadcasters reported on Friday.

The request coincides with a Turkish government bid to boost the rights of Kurds.

The mandate expires in October and recent Turkish media reports said there was concern in Ankara that extending the mandate may harm the opening process.

Turkey's parliament first approved the mandate in 2007 as the military stepped up an offensive against outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant hideouts in northern Iraq, from where militants launch attacks on security forces in southeast Turkey.

Those attacks have strained Iraq's relations with Turkey, which in the past has accused Baghdad of failing to do enough to end PKK attacks in northern Iraq. However recent diplomatic efforts have yielded an improvement in ties.

Turkish TVs said a military spokesman told a weekly media briefing the extension request had been sent to the prime minister's office on Sept. 14. The spokesman's comments could not immediately be confirmed.



Reuters

Last Mod: 18 Eylül 2009, 15:31
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