Turkish troops and tanks amassing along the border with Iraq are ready to go after Kurdish separatist guerrillas as soon as they get the order, the country's top general said yesterday. The US, Iraq and the EU are all urging Turkey not to launch the offensive, which could destabilize Northern Iraq.
The military build-up, and ratcheting up of rhetoric, are a response to last week's suicide bombing in Ankara. Turkey claims Iraqi Kurdistan is a safe haven from which separatist militants PKK launch attacks. Fourteen PKK members have been killed near the border this week; Turkey says up to 3,800 are now based in Iraq.