The United States and Turkey are preparing a covert military operation to suppress PKK based in northern Iraq and capture their leaders, the Washington Post reported Monday.
Veteran columnist Robert Novak reported in The Washington Post that the joint operation, whose broad outlines have been presented to some members of Congress, was aimed at preventing a Turkish invasion of Iraq.
US special forces will work with the Turkish army, Novak says in his column, adding that the Bush administration was trying to prevent another front from opening in Iraq.
The development of an autonomous Kurdish entity in Iraq, resulting from the decline and fall of Saddam Hussein, has alarmed Turkey, Novak points out.
Turkey has a well-trained, well-equipped army of 250,000 near the border, facing some 4,000 PKK members hiding in the mountains of northern Iraq.
But significant cross-border operations could get the PKK the support of the military forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the best US ally in Iraq, Novak pointed out.
PKK have stepped up their attacks this year, while Ankara has massed troops on the border with Iraq, fuelling speculation it will launch a cross-border operation.
The plan was outlined in secret briefings on Capitol Hill last week by Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, according to the report.
Edelman, a foreign service officer who once was US ambassador to Turkey, said he was sure of success, adding that the US role could be concealed and always would be denied, the column said.
Last Mod: 31 Temmuz 2007, 11:21