Saturday, February 22, 2003

Iraqi Kurds fear Turk invasion
"In 1998, a Turkish parliamentary commission reported that government forces had destroyed more than 3,000 Kurdish villages, depriving 380,000 of their homes. All told, as many as 1.5 million villagers in southeastern Turkey were driven from their homes and more than 30,000 people killed."

"Thousands of [Turkish] troops are massed on the border and others are manning posts inside Iraq to provide, the Turks say, humanitarian assistance to the flood of refugees a war is likely to create. If a Newsweek report earlier this weeks was correct, the Turkish army is planning to penetrate some 250 kilometers (150 miles) into northern Iraq, halfway to Baghdad, with up to 80,000 troops."

"The Turks refused to place their troops under foreign command and the United States has agreed that a Turkish general will command them. The two forces are reportedly to coordinate at centers at the U.S. Central Command headquarters in the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar and the eastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir. The United States will take control of [oil-rich] Kirkuk and Mosul, not the Turks and certainly not the Kurds."

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