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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Iraq | International
Turkish army calls for Iraq raid
The head of Turkey's army has called for a military operation in northern Iraq to target its Kurdish rebels hiding there.
General Yasar Buyukanit, the head of the army's general staff, made the assessment on Thursday but said the army had not asked parliament to authorise any such operation.
"From the military point of view, a [military] operation in northern Iraq must be made," Buyukanit said.
"The PKK has huge freedom of movement in Iraq... It has spread its roots in Iraq."
However Buyukanit said that even if the military favoured such an operation, it would have to be authorised by the government.
"If you ask me whether a cross-border operation is needed, yes it is needed. It would be useful," the general told a rare press conference.
"But there is a second dimension to that: it requires a political decision."
Base for attacks
Buyukanit also said that the Turkish army was already conducting substantial operations against PKK members in Turkey.
"There are several large-scale operations under way in several areas," Buyukanit told reporters.
"Our aim is to prevent them from taking positions in the region with the coming spring."
For years Turkey has urged the Iraq's national government, the Kurdish regional government and US-led forces in the country to tackle the estimated 4,000 rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who shelter in Kurdish-ruled northern Iraq.