The Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin announced yesterday that Turkish forces could cross the border into Iraq at any time to start another series of operations against the insurgents of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
The minister continued that “an evaluation is still in the works. But our operations continue to battle crime and criminals on land, as well as maintaining control. A cross-border incursion may be conducted depending on talks with the neighboring countries.” Mr. Sahin also confirmed that military incursions into northern Iraq are a routine part of anti-PKK operations.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that “these are matters not to be discussed but to be done,” and added, “It will happen when the time comes, and the prime minister and the government will decide and instruct the relevant authorities to act.”
A special authorization by the government for another cross-border operation is not necessary since the Turkish parliament has given the armed forces practically ‘carte blanche’ to conduct such actions as it deems necessary until 17 Oct 2011. Action would be taken as soon as the need arises, Mr. Arinc explained.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are also renewing their efforts to fight Kurdish insurgents in the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq. The Kurdish news agency Firat reports that on Tuesday evening villages in three regions of Kurdistan were bombarded, despite a cease fire declared by the Kurdish insurgents organization fighting Iran, the PJAK.
A senior Revolutionary Guards officer was quoted as saying that Iran will continue its attacks unless the rebels in the region lay down their arms and pull back from the border.