Kurdish Rebels Kill 12 Turkish Soldiers

PM Erdogan calls crisis talks; military response is likely imminent

By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User

Posted Oct 21, 2007 11:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Kurdish rebels killed 12 Turkish troops and wounded 16 more in a surprise attack in Turkey today, Reuters reports, four days after parliament voted to allow military strikes against the Kurdistan Workers' Party in northern Iraq. Now, the pressure is on for the Turkish government to take decisive military action, and PM Tayyip Erdogan has called crisis talks to determine a response.

"Iraq continues to harbor terrorists and Turkey has the right to eliminate the terrorists," said Turkey's president. The parliament measure was intended mostly as political pressure on the US, but now an incursion may be imminent. "We cannot expect Turkey to remain silent," said one commentator. The ambush is among the worst in the past decade, and came as the country voted on constitutional changes.

A military vehicle escorts ambulances, carrying wounded Turkish soldiers, near the city of Hakkari, southeastern Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007. Kurdish rebels ambushed a military unit near Turkey's border with Iraq early Sunday, killing 12 soldiers and increasing pressure on the Turkish government to stage attacks against guerrilla camps in...
A military vehicle escorts ambulances, carrying wounded Turkish soldiers, near the city of Hakkari, southeastern Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007. Kurdish rebels ambushed a military unit near Turkey's border...   (Associated Press)
Turkish soldiers patrol on a road in the province of Sirnak, on the Turkish-Iraqi border, southeastern Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007. Separatist Kurdish rebels attacked a military unit near Turkey's border with Iraq and Iran on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007, killing at least 12 Turkish soldiers, the state-run Anatolia news...
Turkish soldiers patrol on a road in the province of Sirnak, on the Turkish-Iraqi border, southeastern Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007. Separatist Kurdish rebels attacked a military unit near Turkey's...   (Associated Press)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to the media after he cast his vote for the referendum at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007. Turkey's leaders were to hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to decide what steps to take against separatist Kurdish rebels, following...
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to the media after he cast his vote for the referendum at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007. Turkey's leaders were to hold...   (Associated Press)
Demonstrators hold Turkish flags in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007, during a protest against the recent attack on the Turkish troops by the separatist Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey. Kurdish rebels ambushed a military unit near Turkey's border with Iraq early Sunday, killing 12 soldiers and increasing pressure on...
Demonstrators hold Turkish flags in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007, during a protest against the recent attack on the Turkish troops by the separatist Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey. Kurdish...   (Associated Press)
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