Turkey Masses Troops, Ready to Invade

'We don't need permission' to strike Kurds, PM says
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2007 6:17 PM CDT
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures during a brief press conference at the Victoria Palace in Bucharest Romania Thursday Oct. 25 2007. Erdogan said Turkey's patience with the Kurdish...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Turkey will invade Northern Iraq “the moment an operation is needed,” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan vowed after talks with Baghdad crumbled last night. Ankara has up to 100,000 troops on the Iraqi border, backed by tanks and fighter plans, ready to strike roughly 3,000 Kurdish rebels. The US and Britain oppose any incursion, but Erdogan said, “We don’t need to ask anyone’s permission.”

Erdogan has given the US and Iraq time to restrain the Kurds, but downplays reports that he’ll wait until a November 5 meeting with Bush to invade. The US has called the Kurdistan Workers Party terrorists, but Erdogan was not impressed: “We want action," he said. "If you can’t show action, you fail the sincerity test.” US-Turkish relations have plummeted in recent weeks.