Turkish forces drive into northern Iraq to destroy Kurdish PKK rebel bases in Iraqi Kurdistan

They crossed at several points – 20 km deep to target PKK camps east of Zaho and 30-40 kms up to the rural areas of Haftanin, Sinaht and Pirbela provinces. The Turkish army is also clearing landmines that could impede its cross-border offensive against rebel Kurdish camps. DEBKAfile adds: Ankara accuses Iraqi Kurdistan of harboring the PKK terrorists, allowing them to stage cross-border raids into Turkey and run back for cover.

Earlier this week, Ankara and Iraqi Kurdish leaders swapped threats over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Officials in the Turkish capital said Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani’s persistent claim to Kirkuk will lead to the loss of the last trace of stability in Iraq. Barzani retorted: “Turkey is not allowed to intervene in the Kirkuk issue; if it does, we will interfere over Diyarbakir and other cities in Turkey.”

Ankara replied: “Turkey will not hesitate to take necessary precautions so that Barzani can’t even spell the “D” of Diyarkabir (the biggest city in Turkey’s southeastern Kurdish region). Barzani should know his place.”

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