ARAB-TURKISH RELATIONS - June 5 - Iraq Demands Stop To Assault.
Iraqi FM Sahaf urges Arab League Secretary-General Esmat Abdel
Maguid in a letter to intervene to prevent Turkey from invading northern
Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish guerrillas. He says: The Arab League should
reject such repeated aggression and demand the Turkish government to
stop such provocative and unjustifiable acts against Iraq. This
aggression constitutes a flagrant violation of Iraqi skies and
territories, the UN charter and the Security Council's
resolutions". (Hundreds of Turkish troops have been involved in
repeated military offensives into northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish
rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party. Late May, around
3,000-5,000 Turkish troops pushed deep inside a Kurdish-held enclave of
northern Iraq to strike at the militant group, known as the PKK). Sahaf
says the Turkish incursion caused "human and material losses"
among Kurdish civilians in northern Iraq. He says Turkey sent in 3,000
troops in a 3-pronged offensive on May 23. Meanwhile, Iraq's Vice
Pres. Taha Yassin Ramadan tells a visiting Turkish official Ankara
should stop Western jets from using an air base at Incirlik, southern
Turkey, to enforce a no-fly zone in northern Iraq. (Incirlik-based US
fighter planes have attacked Iraqi air defences during recent months).