The Turkish government has given the green light to a military operation targeting Kurdish militants in northern Iraq. It appears to be the final step before the launch of a cross-border offensive but it is unclear if Ankara will follow up its words with actions. The US and Iraq have repeatedly cautioned Turkey against such a move, saying it would destablise a relatively peaceful region.At an international conference in early November the Turkish leadership sought assurances that Washington and Baghdad would do more to tackle PKK separatist guerrillas. They use northern Iraq as a base to launch terrorist attacks on Turkey.
Turkish forces have already carried out airstrikes against PKK positions. But analysts do not believe major ground operations are imminent.