The US Secretary of State has appealed to Turkey to refrain from any major military operation in northern Iraq against Kurdish rebels. This as two senior American officials flew into Ankara to try to defuse tension after a congressional resolution labelled as genocide the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915.
Undersecretary of State for Defence Eric Edelman outlined their message: “(We are going) to talk to our colleagues in the Turkish government … first of all to express our regret over the House and Foreign Affairs Committee vote on HR106, and our determination, as an administration, to continue to oppose this bill in the congress.”
The Turkish government is to seek approval from parliament next week for an operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in Iraq.
There have already been reports of fighting between Turkish troops and rebels in mountains in the Turkish province of Sirnak. In the same province, a Turkish soldier was reported to have died in a mine explosion near the border with Iraq. The Turkish army says PKK fighters are now moving further inside Turkey.