Thursday, September 30, 2010

Turkey is creating a buffer zone on the Iraqi border

Following his meeting with the Iraqi Kurdish officials in Arbil and with the Americans in Ankara Turkish Minister of Interior Besir Atalay visited Van and Hakkari where he gave a start to “buffer zone”.

The secret security plan which has been alleged to exist by the PKK for almost two years is getting clearer following Commanding General US Forces- Iraq Lloyd Austin’s visit to Ankara.

Columnist Murat Yetkin of Radikal daily reports: “Americans have stated that they are supporting a security belt on the Iraqi border.”

It is reported that the security belt which aims at preventing the Kurdish guerrillas from crossing the border will be on the Iraqi side and it is supported by the Americans. The only obstacle in front of the belt is the consent from the Iraqi government.

In his column Murat Yetkiner reported an anonymous American official’s statement on this issue: “Our cooperation with Turkey against the PKK has 3 dimensions. 1-Providing Turkish General Staff with intelligence on PKK activities and movements. 2- By supporting the messages delivered to Barzani by Turkey we make them to understand the messages clearly. 3- We facilitate the preventative security dialogs between Ankara and Baghdad governments.”

Reminding the Minister of Interior Besir Atalay’s statement in which he said non-existence of a government in Iraq is an obstacle in front of combating the PKK Yetkin writes some precautions against the PKK need to be approved by Baghdad.

It is also reported that Atalay’s visit of last week to Selahaddin where he met Mesud Barzani as well as his visit to Van where he met security forces were within the framework of these precautions against the PKK.

The secret plan was uncover by the PKK last year

Although the Turkish officials were denying existence of such a security belt one of the HPG commanders Dr. Bahoz Erdal uncovered this plan in an interview he gave to ANF last year.

Bahoz Erdal said: “Turkish side is trying to create a buffer zone on the border which will also include Botan and Zagros regions. Meanwhile there is a similar activity on the Iranian border. The Turkish army is renewing its outposts on the border and preparing to use heavier weapons in the region. There are many tanks and mortar shell launchers brought to the region. On the other hand the dam projects in the region are also a part of this military plan. They are aiming at the submerging the area so that the guerrillas will not be able to move in the region.”

Turkey is extending the border

Although the debates on extending the border with Iraq exist since presidents Turgut Ozal and Suleyman Demirel times recently the State Minister Hayati Yazici brought this issue to the agenda of the country. He said: “It is possible to discuss about changing the Iraqi border.”

Duran Kalkan of the Executive Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (KCK) has also confirmed the attempts of the Turkish side to extend the border and move into Iraqi territory.