Baghdad Says Turkish Troops Attack Northern Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuter)–Iraq’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Saeed al-Sahaf said on Tuesday that Turkey was still carrying out military operations against Kurds in northern Iraq.

"Turkish military attacks are still continuing against Iraqi territory and people in the northern provinces," the Iraqi news agency reported Sahaf as saying in a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Turkey said in June that it had withdrawn most of its forces from the region after a six-week campaign against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who use bases in the mountains to strike Turkey.

Sahaf said Turkish troops had mounted 19 military operations in northern Iraq between the massive withdrawal in late June and August 12.

"Such Turkish violations represent a flagrant breach of the United Nations charter," Sahaf said.

The Arab League condemned the operation as a violation of Iraqi territory. Northern Iraq has been under Iraqi Kurdish control since the end of the 1991 Gulf War but Turkey says a power vacuum there has allowed the PKK to flourish.

A Western air force shields Iraq’s Kurds from any attack by Baghdad.


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