Iraq War Spreads: Thousands of Turkish Troops Enter N. Iraq, Kurds Push Ahead on Independence

6 de junio de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="23" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Iraq War Spreads: Thousands of Turkish Troops Enter N. Iraq, Kurds Push Ahead on Independence</h1><p>June 6, 2007 (LPAC)--On June 5, in a surprise move that stunned Iraqi political observers, the red, green, yellow, and white Kurdish flag was raised over the Kurdistan regional parliament in place of the Iraqi flag. The incident is considered an unprecedented event and seen as a step toward Kurdish intent to declare independence, said <em>AKI</em> .</p><p>Then on June 6, Turkey, which opposes Kurdish independence, let several thousands of its troops cross into northern Iraq to chase Kurdish guerrillas involved in sabotage activities within Turkey, <em>AP</em> reported. Conflicting reports indicated that the Turkish troops were on a "hot pursuit" mission, but may have still been in Iraq on Wednesday evening. The Turkish Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul, Iraqi President Talabani, and White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe all denied having any information on the Turkish incursion; but, several different Turkish military officials told press services that it was underway. In Baghdad, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said, "We are looking into it, and we are very concerned."</p><p>Last September, Kurdish region president Massoud Barzani, issued a decree banning the Iraqi flag--introduced in 1968 after the Ba'ath party coup--from offices and schools, but not from the government buildings. Reports indicate a large number of American evangelical groups are converting Kurds to Christianity in Kurdistan. Also, due to the impossible situation that Washington faces in Iraq, a proposal has been floated by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del) calling for the partitioning of Iraq into three states .</p><p>During the Saddam Hussein regime, Washington embraced the Kurds because of their strong animosity toward Saddam Hussein and their willingness to break away from Baghdad's control. It became evident that Kurdish independence is feasible only with U.S. security guarantees. Once Kurdistan receives such guarantees, it will declare independence, observers point out.</p></div></body>