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Military action looms as Turkey threatens the Kurds

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Military action looms as Turkey threatens the Kurds


The long-running clashes between Turkey and Kurdish rebels are threatening to spiral out of control. The Kurds warned they may take their armed campaign into southern Turkey after Ankara announced preparations to attack them across the border in Iraq. Rebels from the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK, use northern Iraq as a base to attack Turkey. They’re fighting for a Kurdish homeland, and are blamed for more than 30 thousand deaths since their armed struggle began in 1984.

Turkey accepts it will cause widespread outrage if it attacks the rebels inside Iraq. But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan shrugged off criticism, notably from Washington, saying America invaded Iraq without asking anyone’s permission.

Turkish military action became more likely after a US Congressional Committee branded the killing of more than a million Armenians in the First World War as genocide. It outraged Turkey, and Erdogan moved troops to the border. A campaign into Iraq could be approved as early as next week.

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