‘Turkey’s top general said Thursday his army — which has been massing troops on the border with Iraq — was prepared to attack separatist Kurdish guerrillas in a cross-border offensive.
Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said the military was ready and awaiting government orders for an incursion, putting pressure on the government to support an offensive that risks straining ties with the United States and Europe and raising tensions with Iraqi Kurds.
“As soldiers, we are ready,” Buyukanit said at an international security conference in Istanbul.
Although the United States has branded the guerrillas a terrorist organization, Washington fears that Turkish military action could destabilize northern Iraq — the most stable part of the war-torn country. Washington is also concerned that supporting Turkey in an incursion could alienate the pro-American Iraqi Kurds.’