Turks, Kurds in Tense Standoff at Iraqi Border

Both sides want US support in dispute over separatist insurgents
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2007 6:42 AM CDT
Turks, Kurds in Tense Standoff at Iraqi Border
A Kurdish youth holds a PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) flag.   (Getty Images (by Event))

As the Turkish military continued its aggressive saber-rattling along the border with Iraq this week, the US finds itself in a tough spot. The Turks want a green light to go after Kurdish separatist guerrillas hiding in northern Iraq; the Kurds want protection. “Now the U.S. has to choose,” a Turkish official tells the New York Times, “Turkish people or Kurdish people.”


The choice is particularly unpalatable: The Kurds are America's most consistent allies in  Iraq, and the region is the most stable in a country awash with violence. But Turkey allows the US to use a strategically important airbase. The conflict is inflamed by stepped-up attacks from militants operating near the border: 30 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the last two months. (More Turkey stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.