Turkish Army Sends 40,000 Troops to Southeast: Source
Fri, 21 Apr 2006, 00:21
Turkey has sent nearly 40,000 troops to the southeast to prepare for an expected rise in Kurdish rebel incursions from northern Iraq, a senior military official said on April 20.
The official, who declined to be named, said more troops would arrive from central and western Turkey to back up security forces fighting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas in the mountainous provinces Hakkari, Van and Sirnak.
"The Kurdistan Workers Party is trying to send half of its 4,900 militants (based) in northern Iraq here and preparing for attacks in Turkey’s cities," the official told Reuters.
Dozens of guerrillas and members of Turkey’s security forces have been killed in clashes and mine attacks in recent months, and a string of bomb attacks has hit Istanbul, some of them claimed by a group linked to the PKK.
Street clashes in March and April between Kurdish protestors and security forces, in which 17 people died, also contributed to concerns that violence could escalate to levels seen in the 1990s, the peak of the PKK’s campaign for a Kurdish homeland.
Ankara has repeatedly called on the United States to crack down on PKK rebels based in northern Iraq but slipping across the mountainous border to attack security forces.
Ankara, the European Union and the United States consider the PKK a terrorist organization and blames it for the deaths of some 30,000 people.
Turkey already has some 220,000 to 250,000 troops in the southeast.
Iran shells Iranian Kurdish positions in Iraq-PUK
21 Apr 2006 17:45:13 GMT
By Shamal Aqrawi
ZAKHU, Iraq, April 21 (Reuters) - Iranian forces shelled Iranian Kurdish rebel positions inside mountainous northern Iraq on Friday to repel an attack, wounding at least four civilians, Iraqi Kurdish officials said.
"This morning Iranian Kurdish fighters infiltrated the border into the Iranian side and the Iranian army bombed the area and repelled them. The shelling hit Iraqi land at Sidakan," said Saadi Pira, an official in Iraq's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party....