The head of Turkey’s armed forces has again recommended a military incursion into Northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels.
General Yasar Buyukanit was speaking at a media conference in Isparta in southwest Turkey.
He said that a cross border operation was necessary
to crush the rebels who use the mountainous region of Northern Iraq from which to stage raids into Turkey.
But we must work within the law, he added, indicating that he would not act without the approval of the Turkish parliament which is currently in recess prior to a general election.
The Kurdish rebels, members of the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK have been fighting for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey since the 1980’s.
As General Buyukanit spoke, 8 Kurdish rebels had just been killed in a firefight with Turkish troops.
Casualties have risen sharply in recent months
as the rebels cross into Turkey to attack civilian and military targets.
Iraq and Washington have both said they would react strongly to any unilateral Turkish military action that involved crossing Iraqi borders.