Iraqi Parliament Condemns Turkey Turkey says US Authorized Air Strikes on PKK

The Iraqi parliament on Monday condemned Turkish air strikes on what it said were bases of the Kurdish Workers Party inside Iraqi territory. The parliament decried what it called a “cruel” violation of Iraqi “sovereignty.” Over two dozen Turkish troops have been killed in recent months by PKK guerrillas, who Ankara says are based in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Turkish chief of staff Yasar Buyukanit said that the United States gave tacit approval of the strikes by providing Turkey with intelligence on PKK movements. The US responded by saying that it had prior knowledge of the attack but did not authorize it.

The US certainly would be decried in Iraq if it were thought that Washington connived with Turkey at an air strike on Iraqi soil. On the other hand, the US would suffer opprobrium in Turkey if it were seen as doing nothing about a terror threat to Turkey enjoying safe haven in an American-occupied country. Probably both sides will end up hating the US about all this.

The problems with the dual authority being established in Sunni Arab areas– with tribal Awakening Councils appointing themselves as, often, vigilantes– became apparent on Monday when a firefight broke out in Bayji between Awakening members and local official police. There really need to be new provincial elections in Iraq so that if any Awakening members are actually popular, they can gain legitimacy at the polls.

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