Monday, October 8, 2007

PKK Strikes Turkey

In the largest raid in years, the PKK (a violent Kurdish separatist group based in Northern Iraq) killed thirteen Turkish soldiers:
The Turkish cabinet met today amid heightened pressure to hit back at Kurdish separatists in Iraq after 13 soldiers were killed in an ambush yesterday, and two more today.
Three others were wounded today in the separate attacks in south-eastern Turkey, which followed yesterday's death toll, the worst the Turkish military has suffered at the hands of Kurdish forces in years.

The prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said today's cabinet meeting would take up the issue of the long-running campaign against the Kurdistan Workers' party, or PKK, and would be followed by an anti-terrorism meeting, made up of officials in charge of security.

The heartening descriptions of success in Kurdish Iraq tend to overshadow what could in time become a major diplomatic problem for the Turkish government. Every time the Turkish people request action and don't receive it due to American interference, the pressure on an already beleagured government increases. It is clear that it is in our best interest that Turkey stays out of Iraq entirely but we must support that policy by taking steps to dismantle the PKK ourselves. Unfortunately, that action would be very unpopular in Kurdistan and strain the best relations we have in the country.

The balancing act continues.

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