Did Washington open Iraqi airspace prior to Turkish offensive?
ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER/PRODUCER: Turkish air forces attacked alleged Kurdish bases in northern Iraq on Sunday. The Turkish and U.S. governments define the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, as a terrorist group and have accused them of launching attacks from Iraq into the border region of Turkey. According to The Guardian newspaper, the Turkish military claimed terrorist headquarters had been hit. But local officials said rebels had dispersed in recent weeks in anticipation of the strikes, and that villages, not bases, had suffered the most damage.
SHWAN AZIZ, KURDISH RESIDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Saddam Hussein didn’t do half of what we have seen now. The Baath Party bombed our villages but it warned us before bombardment. But the Turkish troops fiercely attacked us without prior warning.
December 17, 2007
Aftermath of Turkish Offensive
Qandil mountains, Northern Iraq
HALIMA HAMAD, KURDISH RESIDENT: Saddam’s era was better than now. Saddam’s regime deported us three times, but we didn’t see the bombardment and destruction we have now witnessed.
According to The Guardian newspaper, the head of Turkey’s military, General Büyükanıt, stated the U.S. had approved the mission by, quote-unquote, “opening Iraqi airspace.” The U.S. refuted the statement by saying: we have not approved any decision. It is not for us to approve. But President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barsani stated the Americans as also being responsible, because they are dominating the air.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.