US Didn't Protest Turkish Incursion Into Iraq

White House told far in advance of ground assault
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 10:26 AM CST
The flag-draped coffins of three Turkish Army officers are carried by soldiers during a funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 25, 2008. The three officers were killed during clashes with Kurdish...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As fierce fighting continues in northern Iraq, American officials have confirmed they were aware that Turkey planned to strike at Kurdish guerrillas inside the border—and didn't raise objections, the Wall Street Journal reports. The US did, however, urge Turkey to limit the length and scope of the incursion. "They understood why Turkey was doing this," said Turkey's ambassador to the US.

A State Department official described the Kurd rebels as a "common enemy" of Turkey, Iraq, and the US, but the Iraqi government has strongly protested the Turkish incursion, now in its fifth day. The Turkish military says the offensive has killed 153 rebels at a cost of 17 Turkish soldiers. Kurd officials said their casualties were much lower, and the Turks' were far higher.