Turkey Warned About Invading Kurdistan
Pick your cliche–adding gasoline to the fire, straw to the camel’s back, or whatever. The U.S. has warned Turkey that it is not to cross the Iraqi border to pursue Kurdish guerillas making raids into Turkish territory. Turkey is none too pleased about that warning.
WASHINGTON warned Turkey yesterday that it opposed any attempt to pursue separatist Kurdish rebels into northern Iraq.
The statement came a day after Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, said that his security forces were drawing up such plans.
Although such a move would prove domestically popular it is likely to hurt Turkey’s already precarious European Union accession talks and threaten to destabilise the calmest part of its strife-ridden neighbour.
The US statement, issued by its embassy in Ankara, said that Turkey had a right to defend itself against Kurdish rebels but warned against unilateral action across the border.
Mr Erdogan said: “There is no point in endlessly discussing the issue. Our security forces are getting on with their task. Whatever steps need to be taken will definitely be taken.”
I’d like to think that it goes without saying that the last thing the Middle East needs right now is Turkish troops crossing the Iraqi border. Unfortunately, I can come up with a bunch of worse scenarios off of the top of my head. Still, if Turkey gets embroiled in Iraq, there’s no question that things are going to get worse. The U.S. has, by and large, pretty much lost Turkey as an ally, but if they cross the border, Turkey will no doubt come down on the enemy column. Things could get even worse if U.S. troops are sent north to confront the Turks.
I wish I could see a positive side of this, but I don’t.