Crossfire War -RAPID FIRE NEWS=ANKARA – TEHRAN – BAGHDAD WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Ankara – Riyadh – Tehran – Washington – Damascus – Baghdad/Arbil – Mosul – Kirkuk – Sulaymaniyah; “The Order Has Been Given” – Turkey PM Erdogan – Tacit Approval from Washington – Two Firefights in Kashmir Past 24 hrs – UN Closed Door Session on Kosovo
Night Watch: Arbil – Aljazeera reports the office of Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan released this statement after yesterday’s cabinet meeting regarding attacks by the Kurdish nationalist group PKK, the government had decided, “To put an end to the terrorist organization’s operating in the neighboring country , the order has been given to take every kind of measure, legal, economic, political including also a cross-border operation if necessary.” Ankara has claimed there are 3,000 PKK fighters based in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region and that they frequently cross over into southeast Turkey to attack Turkish military and police, a continuation of the guerrilla war, which began in 1984. Responses from Washington to Ankara’s policy seem to indicate tacit approval of any measure Turkey decides to take. Washington and the international community have long classified the PKK as a terrorist organization. If Kurdish fighters were to ever realize their dream of an independent Kurdistan then not only Turkey but also Syria-Iraq-Iran would also lose territory. [ALJAZEERA]
Ankara has been planning an invasion all this year and has 200,000 troops in staging areas near Iraq’s border since May. There has also been shelling by Turkish artillery into Kurdish bases across the border. Kurdish guerrillas know what is coming and have prepared themselves for heavy fighting and not just with Turkish forces but also with Iranian since Kurdish groups have also attacked inside Iran’s Kurdish areas. The Kurdish Mayor of the northern Iraq city of Arbil, Nozad Hadi has stated, “If the Turkish troops decided to enter into the Iraq’s Kurdistan territories, their decision would be wrong and they would sustain heavy casualties and material losses.” Ankara is of course aware of the preparations Kurdish groups have been making and that is why I suspect Turkey decided quite some time ago only a major invasion with air support would be effective. Tehran also seems to be ready for joint action, which is why I have been saying with the end of Ramadan this week fighting will increase in every regional theatre.
Srinagar – Despite the ceasefire declared by some Islamic leaders in Kashmir for the month of Ramzan and the final feast this weekend, some militants are still active in infiltration attempts across the Line of Control (LoC) which divides the province between Pakistan/India. Kashmir newsagent Fayaz Wani reports in the past 24 hours there have been two gunbattles resulting in the deaths of three Islamic militants. One engagement was in north Kashmir at Mahipur, Kulgam and involved members of Hizbul Mujahideen. The other firefight was in south Kashmir at the Gangabuy forest district of Kupwara in which members of Lashkar-e-Toiba were involved. Indian police and military continue to search the area and regularly receive intelligence information as to where the militants are based, including which houses. After approaching the areas firefights begin and a lot of equipment-caches militants have stored are then recovered. [NEWSBLAZE]
Medveda – As the United Nations Security Council holds a closed-door session on Kosovo, Serbia President Boris Tadic visited the Medevca Serbia Army (VS) base in Medveda municipality near the border of the Serbian province Kosovo. Tadic stated that despite reports of extremist groups in northern Macedonia, Serbia would not allow any terrorist activity. [B92]