Tip of the TinFoil to Cafe regular Kevin who has noticed that 815 has changed it’s officially approved lexicon from “border crossings” (which alludes to religious jargon of the past) to “incursions” (which is targeted toward a PR effort for today) when talking about Anglican “separatists” in the Episcopal/Anglican crisis, while of course the Archbishop of Canterbury continues to seek “a diplomatic solution to tensions that have raised fears of new fronts” in the current crisis. Sound familiar? Read on …
Turkey expected to OK Iraq incursion
Turkey’s Parliament on Wednesday was expected to approve a possible cross-border military incursion into northern Iraq to chase separatist Kurdish rebels despite international calls for restraint.
Turkish leaders have stressed that an offensive against the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, would not immediately follow the motion authorizing the incursion.
Iraq has urged Turkey not to send troops across the border to pursue separatist Kurds in mountain hideouts. It dispatched the Sunni vice president to Ankara and called for a diplomatic solution to tensions that have raised fears of a new front in the Iraq war.
“Iraq must be given the chance to stop PKK rebels who cross the border before Turkey takes any step,” the Anatolia news agency quoted Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi as saying before his departure from Ankara.
“I got what I wanted from our talks. There is a new atmosphere to stop the current crisis,” he was also quoted as saying. Al-Hashimi, one of Iraq’s two vice presidents, met Tuesday with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish officials.
Hours before the vote in Parliament, Turkey invited ambassadors from countries bordering Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations to the Foreign Ministry for a briefing on why it was passing the motion in Parliament.
The motion, authorizing an attack into Iraq sometime over the next year, has the backing of all but one party in Parliament. Only a small Kurdish party has said it would vote against it.
“The passage of the motion in Parliament does not mean that an operation will be carried out at once,” Erdogan said Tuesday. “Turkey will act with common sense and determination when necessary and when the time is ripe.”
Public anger over attacks by Kurdish guerrillas is high but Turkish officials are mindful that two dozen Iraqi campaigns since the 1980s have failed to eradicate the PKK. A cross-border attack into northern Iraq could also strain ties with the United States, a NATO ally that opposes any disruption of its efforts to stabilize Iraq.
Kurdish rebels from the PKK have been fighting since 1984 for autonomy in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated southeast, a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Turkey has complained about what they consider a lack of U.S. support in the fight against the PKK, a frustration with Washington intensified because of another sensitive issue: the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.
A U.S. House panel approved a resolution last week labeling the killings as genocide, an affront to Turks who deny there was any systematic campaign to eliminate Armenians at that time. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will schedule a vote soon on the resolution, one President Bush opposes.