Kurdish War: Oil To Die For


January 30, 2008: The Iraqi government, to protest a South Korean deal to develop oil fields for the local Kurdish government in northern Iraq, has cut oil shipments to South Korea. These shipments account for about four percent of the oil South Korea imports. The Kurds are determined to go forwards with developing oil deposits in territory they control, and the Arabs to the south are not capable to stopping them, yet. In another 4-5 years, the Iraqi Arabs will have built armed forces capable of forcing the Kurds to obey, repeating a pattern that has persisted for over a thousand years.

January 29, 2008: Turkey released data on their security forces casualties for last October. It was a bad month, with 28 soldiers killed, eight captured, and 23 wounded in battles with Kurd rebels.

January 27, 2008: Turkish warplanes attacked targets on Kurdish villages in the Dohuk area of northern Iraq.

January 25, 2008: Israel has yet to deliver ten "Heron" unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles, which the Turks have ordered on an urgent basis. The recon UAVs will likely be employed along the Turkey-Iraq border to monitor PKK infiltration routes and locate PKK bases.

January 20, 2008: Security forces stopped a plot to assassinate Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A PKK operative had planned to put a bomb on a minivan and detonate the bomb when a Erdogan drove through a neighborhood in Istanbul.

Iraqi Kurds have called on Iraq and international agencies to "punish" companies that helped Saddam Hussein's regime acquire or make chemical weapons. Iraqi forces used chemical weapons against Kurdish villages during Operation Anfal in the late 1980s.

Three PKK rebels surrendered at a Turkish security post in the Habur Pass (Sirnak province). That brought to 24 rebel surrenders in the last month. Ten PKK fighters surrendered on January 17.

January 18, 2008: Two PKK two anti-aircraft batteries were destroyed in its recent air campaign. The "anti-aircraft weapons" were not described, but the PKK has Russian-type 23 millimeter anti-aircraft cannons. "Batteries" suggests a more complex anti-aircraft defensive position than a single cannon. The Russian 23 millimeter has a dual and quad mount (two and four cannons). It is an obsolete weapon but in certain terrain (like mountain valleys) it remains effective against low-flying aircraft and helicopters.

January 16, 2008 The Turkish Air Force struck PKK targets in the Zap, Basyan, Hakurk, and Avashin regions in northern Iraq.


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