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Turkish Forces Mass on Iraqi Border Amid Talk of Incursion

30 May 2007

Turkey has sent more troops and tanks to the Iraqi border, as speculation grows about a possible Turkish incursion against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his patience has run out for the United States and Iraq to take action against the Kurdish rebels. But U.S. officials have expressed concerns that a cross-border operation could destabilize northern Iraq.

Meanwhile, Turkish security forces continue large-scale operations against the Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK, rebels in southeast Turkey. A Turkish soldier in the region was killed Wednesday by a landmine blast.

Pressure for action against the PKK is mounting as Turkey prepares for national elections on July 22, and after two bombings last week.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984.

The United States, the European Union and Turkey classify the PKK as a terrorist group.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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