It has been seemingly in the works for months, but now a cross-border incursion by the Turkish military into Iraq appears somewhat more likely. Saying that it is out of patience, the Turkish military is seeking approval from its parliament to strike south into Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a terrorist group sheltering itself in northern Iraq that Turkey claims is responsible for a considerable string of attacks. The Iraqi government has sent Vice-President Tareq Hashemi to conduct "urgent negotiations" concerning the potential crisis, but many observers fear that a unilateral assault by Turkey could have serious consequences for the region. Iraqi leaders fear that any such operation would open the door for other similar sovereignty violations by neighboring states. The US government has also urged Turkey not to cross into Iraq. Though the measure is expected to pass, Turkish leaders insist it will not mean an impending attack. But what outcome is likely in this situation? It certainly seems unlikely that Turkey’s decades long struggle with the PKK will end anytime soon. In addition, the ability of the Iraqi government or the US to deal with the PKK operating in Iraq remains questionable. The PKK is believed responsible for attacks which claimed the lives of 15 Turkish soldiers earlier this month.
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