Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). He has been held in prison since 1998. The US military is threatening to attack PKK supporters in northern Iraq., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Turkey mandate for PKK strikes extended
Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:4AM GMT
The Turkish parliament has extended the government’s mandate to order military strikes against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants holed up in northern Iraq for another year.
The motion, renewed on Thursday, authorizes the Turkish government to "send members of the Turkish Armed Forces, with the aim of doing away with the threat of terrorism and attacks, in cross-border operations in Iraq's northern region where the PKK has built its nest," Reuters reported.
The motion was first adopted in 2007.
Earlier this month, Iraq called for an end to the presence of Turkish military forces on its land, demanding that Turkey stop its attacks on PKK.
Over the past months, Turkish military forces and the PKK have been involved in one of their heaviest clashes since the beginning of the Kurdish group’s armed struggle against Ankara.
In July, Baghdad warned Ankara against the “violation” of its territory and airspace by Turkish fighter jets and called on its Foreign Ministry to file a complaint with the UN Security Council over the issue.
The PKK has been fighting for an independent state in southwestern Turkey since the 1980s.
Since the 1990s, Turkey has maintained several military bases in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq where the PKK has also set up outposts.
One of Turkey's military bases is located in the Bamerni region of the Dohuk province, one of the three provinces that make up the Kurdistan region. Turkey has also three permanent military bases in Kani Massi, Dera Luk, and Sirsi where it deploys troops year-round.
The Ankara-PKK conflict has left over 45,000 people dead.