Turkey Determined to Battle Kurdish Rebels

Posted September 14th, 2011 at 7:30 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said Wednesday his country is determined to take any measure necessary to battle Kurdish rebels operating in northern Iraq.

Responding to questions about Turkey's alleged preparations for a cross-border offensive against the rebels, Yilmaz said, “whatever is necessary to fight terrorism will be done.”

Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said Tuesday discussions with Iraq were under way regarding a land operation against the rebels, saying an attack could be launched “at any time.”

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, has escalated attacks against Turkish targets in recent weeks. On Sunday, Kurdish rebels attacked multiple police facilities in southeastern Turkey, killing at least five people.

Turkish forces have increased their airstrikes against suspected rebel bases in northern Iraq. Last month, Turkey's military said it killed as many as 160 Kurdish rebels in air and artillery strikes across the border.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara's “patience is running out” with the rebels, who have waged a campaign for autonomy in the country's largely Kurdish southeast since 1984. The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people.