Turkey, Iraq Agree on Accord to Track Down Kurdish Separatists
26 September 2007
Officials and media reports say Turkey and Iraq have agreed on an accord that reportedly would allow Turkish forces to cross into Iraq to pursue Kurdish separatists.
An Iraqi official says the anti-terrorism accord was reached Wednesday during Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani's visit to Ankara. The official says it will be signed on Thursday.
A Turkish television station, NTV, reports the agreement allows Turkey to carry out small-scale military operations to track down separatist Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, but would need Iraqi permission beforehand.
In recent months, rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, have stepped up attacks on Turkish targets from their bases in northern Iraq.
Kurdish separatists have been fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984. More than 30,000 people have been killed.
Turkey has threatened military action against Kurdish guerillas in northern Iraq if the United States and Iraq fail to deal with them. Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist group.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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