Turkie approves military action in Iraq

On Wednesday, Turkey’s Grand National Assembly voted 507-19 to authorize sending troops into northern Iraq to pursue Kurdish rebels. Although the authorization is valid for one year, Turkish officials made clear that it would not necessarily result in military action. Both the United States and Iraq have recently warned Turkey against such an incursion.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that although the motion does not indicate that a military operation is imminent, it is necessary for Turkey to be able to respond to bomb attacks which have been blamed on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels in Iraq. Turkey has been asking for help in dealing with the PKK for months, and the Turkish public has grown frustrated with America’s perceived lack of action on the issue.

Both the United States and Iraq have recently warned Turkey against an incursion into Iraq. “The Iraqi government calls on the Turkish government to pursue a diplomatic solution and not a military solution to solve the [problem] of terrorist attacks which our dear neighbor Turkey has witnessed from the PKK,” Iraq government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh said earlier this week. White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe called on Turkey “to continue their discussions with us and the Iraqis and to show restraint from any potentially destabilizing actions.”

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