NEWS: Turkey’s president: “If Iraq keeps harboring terrorists, Turkey has the right to destroy this.”

Kurds from Iraq kill 17 soldiers in Turkey

An audacious cross-border ambush by Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq killed at least 17 Turkish soldiers Sunday, ratcheting up pressure on the Turkish government to launch a military offensive into Iraq. The Turkish military said Monday that eight of its soldiers were also missing after the raid, as scattered protests broke out around the country among groups demanding retaliation.

The pre-dawn attack took place as the U.S. military said its troops killed 49 fighters in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood, one of the highest death tolls for a military operation since President Bush declared an end to active combat in 2003.

But Iraqi officials and residents of the vast Shiite enclave, loyal to powerful anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said 13 people were killed and all of the victims were innocent civilians, including children. They warned that the attack could lead Sadr to rescind a suspension of his militia’s operations. [complete article]

See also, Iraq says Kurdish rebels will announce ceasefire (The Guardian).

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