By an overwhelming majority, the Turkish parliament authorizes military operations to strike Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won permission Wed. Oct 17, by a margin of 507 to 19 to launch cross-border strikes for one year shortly after US President George W. Bush told reporters: “Turkey already has troops in Iraq and sending more is not in Turkish interests.” He also appealed to Congress to drop its resolution branding the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in the first world war genocide, for fear of antagonizing an “important Muslim ally.”
Visiting Syrian president Bashar Assad voiced support in Ankara for a Turkish invasion of Iraq to fight Kurdish terrorists.
Iraqi Vice President Tareq Hashemi, who rushed to Ankara on Oct. 16, asked the Turkish government for more time to put a stop to the mounting PKK attacks from Iraqi Kurdistan in a joint effort with Turkey.
According to debkafile‘s sources, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been trying to keep the lid on a major invasion of northern Iraq demanded by the army and public, but for limited pursuit raids. But he will be hard put to ignore the sweeping parliamentary majority for a larger-scale invasion.
Our military sources report that Sunday, Oct. 14, that two divisions withdrew from pre-invasion positions they had held for months opposite the Iraqi Kurdish towns of Zakho and Dahuk ready to go after PKK Kurdish rebel sanctuaries. They retired to bases in the southeastern in Turkish provinces of Hakkri and Siranak, apparently in response to US pressure on the Erdogan government to refrain from a large-scale invasion of northern Iraq.
In their place, debkafile‘s sources report, a fleet of at least 75 helicopters is deployed indicating that the Turkish army has switched its tactics to commando drops over PKK strongholds in the Matin and Kandil mountains of northwest Iraqi Kurdistan should Kurdish terror strikes continue.
Ankara and Washington received warnings from Iraqi Kurdish leaders Saturday and Sunday that the peshmerga will come out and fight if Turkish troops do indeed push 40 km across the border, capturing Zakho and Dahuk and reaching the outskirts of Irbil.
debkafile adds: If the US Democratic leader insists on pushing the resolution calling the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide through the House of Representatives, this would help push Turkey over the edge.

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