With Turkey preparing for a possible strike against the PKK in Iraq, the Kurdish rebels have threatened to widen their attacks against Turkish targets. Turkish plans for an anti-terrorist operation to counter cross-border raids by the PKK have worried the US. Washington fears it would further destabilise northern Iraq. But Ankara, whose troops are coming under increasing rebel attack, is in no mood to listen to American concerns.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signalled his country is willing to risk angering Washington. This comes after a congressional committee outraged Turkey by voting to call the 1915 massacre of Armenians genocide. Turkey is a key US ally in the region, vital as a supply base for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now Erdogan has said the genocide vote, pushed through by Democrats but opposed by the White House, has put cooperation with the US at risk. Erdogan’s government is to seek approval from parliament next week for an operation in Iraq.
Some analysts think Ankara will ultimately hold off, in line with US demands. But relations between the two allies have rarely been lower.