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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Baghdad warns Turkey against military operation in N.Iraq

RIA Novosti

28/05/2007 16:21 ANKARA, May 28 (RIA Novosti) - Iraqi authorities said a Turkish military operation against Kurdish separatists in Northern Iraq is unacceptable, Turkish news agency ANKA reported Monday.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned last Thursday that a military operation could be carried out in northern Iraq against militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) banned in Turkey.

"Iraq will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty. Any outside intervention in Iraq will aggravate the existing problems in the region," Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Berkham Salikh, said at a meeting with Turkey's special representative in Baghdad.

The majority of Kurdish militants are based in northern Iraq bordering Turkey, making periodic incursions into Turkish territory.

In a recent spate of bomb attacks linked to Kurdish insurgents, at least 20 people have been killed and over 100 injured, threatening to destabilize the political situation in Turkey, which will hold general elections on July 22.

Kurdish separatists blew up a bus stop at a Turkish Mediterranean resort in September last year, killing ten people. Turkey's worst terrorist attack in recent years was a 2003 bombing of the British consular building, a bank, and two synagogues in Istanbul, which killed 58.

Gen. Yasr Buyukanit, Army chief of staff, said in mid-April it was necessary to carry out a military operation against Kurdish insurgents in northern Iraq.

Prime Minister Erdogan said Ankara insisted Iraq meet its demand to crack down on the Kurdish separatists.

Over 37,000 people have been killed in the conflict between Turkey and the PKK, which has been fighting for a so called independent Kurdistan in the southeast of the country since 1984.

Turkish authorities are categorically refusing to open dialogue with the separatists and are determined to use force to eliminate the PKK.

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