Turkish forces pursued Kurdish militants in northern Iraq for a third day today, with the Turkish military reporting least 24 militants and five Turkish soldiers killed since they sent troops across the border to attack separatist strongholds Thursday night. At least 20 other Kurds died in the air assault that has accompanied the ground raid, the AP quoted the Turkish military as saying.
Estimates of the number of troops involved vary from several hundred to 10,000. The incursion—unusual because the rugged mountains of the border region are still blanketed in snow—is believed to be the largest since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The US, which was warned of the operation in advance, has urged Turkey to exercise restraint. Iraq has condemned it.