Turkey's Kurds fear Iraq incursion to fuel conflict

SIRNAK, Turkey (Reuters) - Perched on a hillside overlooking the mountainous northern Iraqi border, Kurds in the southeastern Turkish town of Sirnak are nervously monitoring preparations for a possible cross-border military operation.

While concerned for their ethnic kin across the border, they also fear any attempt by the Turkish military to crush Kurdish guerrillas in the northern Iraqi mountains could hurt their own region further and fuel wider conflict in the Middle East.

"We are worried there may be a period of serious conflict between regional powers if there is a cross-border operation at a time when strains are emerging between Iran and the United States," said Mayor Ahmet Ertak from the Democratic Society Party, which has strong support in the mainly Kurdish southeast.


No votes yet

The ones who are most fearful of this conflict escalating are the Iranians.

They have one of the highest populations of Kurds in the north of Iran. If the conflict escalates they will unwillingly find themselves in the midst of a war with the Kurdistan Army.

That poses a problem for the powers that now control Iran because they don't have a stranglehold on the country. In fact just this last weekend there were protests against the government. Ahmadinejad and his ilk could be facing much more domestic turmoil if the Kurds push this even more.



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.