Turkey Pulls Out of N. Iraq

Says it made its point to the PKK
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2008 8:57 AM CST
A convoy of Turkish military trucks with elite troops arrive in Cukurca in Hakkari province at the Turkey-Iraq border, Friday, Feb. 29, 2008. The Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Friday that...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Turkey pulled its troops out of northern Iraq today, ending a controversial offensive that had Washington and Baghdad on edge, Reuters reports. In a statement, Turkey said it had made its point. “There was no question of completely liquidating” the PKK, the military said, “but Turkey has shown the organization that northern Iraq is not a safe haven for them.”

President Bush yesterday implored his NATO ally to leave Iraq soon, but Turkey said the pullout was motivated by military success, not foreign pressure. Turkey says it killed 240 rebels during the eight-day offensive, while losing 27 soldiers. The PKK, however, says it killed 130 Turks while losing just five men, and says Turkey pulled out “because of fierce battles.”