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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Forwarded message According to the Reuters article below, there are 1,000 Turkish troops in Northern Iraq. According to the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, however, the actual number of troops in two brigades stationed in Northern Iraq has reached 14,000 in recent days. And Cumhuriyet reports 12,000 more just entered Northern Iraq last night. +++++++ 18 Oct 2002 19:35 Kurdish leader wants Turkish troops out of Iraq ANKARA, Oct 18 (Reuters) - An Iraqi Kurdish leader said on Friday he wanted Turkey to withdraw its troops from northern Iraq, underscoring the tense relations between two potentially crucial players in any U.S. attack on Baghdad. NATO ally Turkey maintains a military presence in neighbouring Iraq's northern Kurdish enclave to pursue separatists from its own Kurdish minority. Ankara has threatened to intervene if Iraqi Kurds use a possible U.S. strike on Baghdad to push for independence, a move that could stir trouble among Turkish Kurds. This was the first time that Kurdistan Democratic Party leader Massoud Barzani has said he wanted to see an end to Turkey's military presence. "They are here for their own duties, and when that is over we are going to sit down and raise this issue with the Turkish authorities. We want these troops to return home," Barzani said in a live interview with news channel CNN Turk. Barzani's party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which jointly administer the Kurdish enclave in Iraq, deny having any plans to push for statehood, saying they only want autonomy within a united Iraq. But relations with Ankara remain fraught with tension. Turkish air bases and Iraqi Kurdish "peshmerga" fighters could both play vital roles in any U.S. offensive to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, whom Washington accuses of developing weapons of mass destruction. Turkey has around 1,000 soldiers in northern Iraq and officials say they also help protect a small Turkmen minority, with whom Turks share ethnic and linguistic ties, from attacks by Kurds or Arabs. But their main target is the Kurdistan Workers Party, which waged a 17-year war for a Kurdish homeland in southeastern Turkey. More than 30,000 people died in the fighting which largely died down after Turkey captured rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999. The rebels mostly withdrew to Iraq and Iran. Radikal is one of the several Turkish dailies that belongs to Dogan Holding owned by the media mongul Aydin Dogan. He is very well connected with the "commanding heights" in Turkey, if he is one of those at that "heights". Ismet Berkan is not only the head columnist of Radikal but also the general manager of the newspaper. I take Ismet very seriously. His "predictions" usually turn out to be too precise to be educated guesses. I suspect that Ismet is very well connected with the "commanding heights" as well but, of course, this just a guess as I am not that well connected with anywhere. His Radikal column from yesterday precisely "predicted" once again that the Turkish military would "justly" increase its presence in Northern Iraq, according to him, to counter a potential "immigration wave" when the US attack on Iraq starts and warned the mentally unstable 77 years old Prime Minister Ecevit, who said "Many of our youths will die", to keep his mouth shut. Sabri _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk