10,000 Turkish troops cross into northern Iraq to strike against suspected PKK targets


Story Transcript

VOICE OF MISHUK MUNIER, PRESENTER: Turkish troops crossed into Iraqi Kurdistan on Thursday. Ten thousand Turkish troops backed by the air force have reportedly crossed the border to strike against suspected PKK targets. According to the BBC, Turkish President Abdullah Gül phoned Iraqi President Jalal Talabani about the operation’s goals on Thursday evening. Since the Turkish Parliament authorized military action in October 2007, Turkey has carried out several smaller air and land strikes across the border into northern Iraq. According to the Associated Press, the US military said on Friday it understood this operation was of limited duration, specifically targeting Kurdish rebels. While supporting Turkey’s right to fight, the European Union has asked Turkey to refrain from taking any disproportionate military action. More than 30,000 people have been killed since 1984 in the ongoing conflict to establish a Kurdish homeland. In Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, people reacted on Friday to the Turkish incursion.

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AHMED JASSIM, LOCAL RESIDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): If ten thousand Turkish troops entered the North of Iraq it means they entered Iraq. Iraq is one – whether it is the North, or Duhok, or Baghdad or South of Iraq, they are all in one Iraq. It is not acceptable and this is another invasion.

IHSSAN EL-EBOUDY, LOCAL RESIDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): America is fighting terrorism all over the world, why don’t they stand against a Turkish incursion, which is also terrorism in the North of Iraq which wants to kill people and destroy our North which is an Iraqi territory?

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