Kurdish War: March 18, 2003

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Western sources quoted "senior American officials" in Turkey as saying that Iraqi Kurds are ready to fight Saddam's regime and do so under US command. PUK and KDP fighters would operate under the direction of the US military. This is not only an attempt to limit bloody retribution attacks by Kurds against Iraqi Baathists, it is also an effort to thwart potential conflict between Iraqi Kurds and Turkish military forces. As we've reported, Turkey fears an independent Kurdistan forming in the wake of a post-Saddam Iraq. That could re-energize the Kurd war inside Turkey. The Kurds are worried Turkey will try to seize Mosul and Kirkuk, and their nearby oilfields. A subsequent press report said the US would take responsibility for "all movement" (presumably meaning all military movement) into and out of Mosul and Kirkuk.

 

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