February 25, 2008

The PKK Took My Baby Away

We here at Abu Muqawama have kinda forgotten to mention the fact that Turkey has gone to war against PKK insurgents across the border in northern Iraq. Turkish forces crossed the border last Thursday, as most of you know, and we should have given you something earlier. If you want to know where those same forces are operating, though, check out these cool maps prepared by Turkish analysts and officers for the Washington Institute which outline where Turkey thinks these PKK bases are. It's unknown how many insurgents are in these camps at any given time, but overall, there are about 3500 insurgents causing problems for the Turks and Kurds alike. (h/t MESH)

Update 1: Kip here. The United States stand on some pretty shaky ground when it comes to the Turkish invasion of Iraq. Secretary Gates is urging the Turks to exercise caution as we are, although he doesn't put it this way, very concerned about the loyalties of the Kurds in the Iraqi Security Forces and about de-stabilizing the Kurdish north. When the great pre-empter gives lectures to any country on the need to re-consider the military option and integrate political and economic initiatives, we may need some additional leverage beyond our verbal powers of persuasion.