Turkey took a step toward a military operation in Iraq on Tuesday, as its top political and military leaders issued a statement allowing troops to cross the border Iraq to eliminate separatist Kurdish rebel camps in the northern region.
Turkey moved toward military action in the face of strong opposition by the United States, which is anxious to maintain peace in the region, one of the rare areas of stability in conflict-torn Iraq. But more than two dozen Turkish soldiers have been killed in recent days, and the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seemed far more determined than before to act decisively.
A government official, who asked not to be named, said preparations were under way to seek parliamentary approval for a cross-border military operation, a request that would be the first formal step toward an offensive. [complete article]