The Turkish parliament authorized a Turkish incursion into Iraq in pursuit of guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).
Syria threw its support behind Turkey on this issue. Syria has 2 million Kurds of its own, in a population of 19 million [plus 1.4 million Iraqi refugees]. Bashar al-Asad fears Kurdish nationalism as a threat to Syrian national unity just as does Turkey. Moreover, Syria is increasingly isolated, and probably welcomes an opportunity to improve relations with Ankara. (Ironically, in the 1990s Syria gave surreptitious support to the Kurds).
It is looking as though the Blackwater security firm will leave Iraq when its current contract is up, and will not put in a bid for a continuation of its role in guarding the State Department. The
A UN study finds a growing cadre in the world of mercenary armies, a practice that is forbidden in 30 countries worldwide. The The Iraqi government is determined to put the security guards in that country under Iraqi law, even if that move drives them out.
Barnett Rubin broaches the subject of the private security contractors in Afghanistan, at a time when the focus is solely on their activities in Iraq.
Iraq will award Iran and China a $1.1 bn. contract to build two enormous electricity generating plants, says the NYT. The US military is said to be worried that the Iranians will put intelligence agents in Iraq as part of this project. I fear I think the real worry is that Iran will get credit for building the electricity plants, something the US was apparently too weak or inefficient to pull off.