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Turkish Commandos Cross Into Iraq to Destroy Kurdish Terrorist Camps

The Turkish army crossed 20 kilometers into Iraq in an effort to destroy camps located to the east of Zaho. Elsewhere in northern Iraq security forces went 30 to 40 kilometers in, up to the rural areas of the Haftanin, Sinaht and Pirbela provinces.

Sources from the military confirmed that platoons from the Kayseri province had earlier been deployed near the Iraqi border closer to the terrorist camps in northern Iraq. Sources said on Tuesday that the army would get to work clearing landmines that could impede them in an over-the-border operation against PKK camps in northern Iraq.To this end a 60-person bulwark team has been formed to clear landmines from Çalışkan village outside of Şırnak, regions near the Habur border crossing and the area around Hakkari's Çukurca and Şemdinli districts.

Security check points have been set up throughout Turkish regions near the Iraqi border by the army in order to cut off access to arms, ammunition or food to terrorists hiding out in the mountains. Military units have been set up in mountainous regions near the Iraqi border, and while activity in the region has increased over the past week, reinforcements are still being deployed to the area. The military units in place along the border are carrying out constant scanning and patrolling of the area, and reports indicate a large convoy of armored vehicles and tanks on their way to Cizre and Silopi. It is speculated that in addition to the special force units already placed along the border, another 200,000 soldiers have been moved to the region.

The army's spring operation comes at a time when Kurdish Iraqi leader Massoud Barzani threatened in televised conferences to stir unrest in Turkey's Southeast. A Web site based in northern Iraq also claimed on Tuesday that the Turkish military attacked the northern Iraqi town of Zaho, close to the Turkish border, during Sunday's operations. A man named Mustafa Shilani, identified as a being from Zaho, said he had witnessed Turkish troops opening fire.

The Turkish army pushed ahead its spring operations in the fight against the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in eastern and southeastern Turkey on Tuesday, despite having lost nine soldiers and one village guard in the past three days.

About 15,000 Turkish troops took part in an extensive operation launched by the military against the terrorist PKK organization in the Southeast. Security forces have been pursuing terrorists trapped in the countryside following operations launched in mountainous regions. Hundreds of soldiers were deployed near Tunceli to capture fleeing terrorists.

Sources in the military confirmed that terrorists who fled the operations in Tunceli, Bingöl and Diyarbakır were hiding along the Elazığ-Bingöl border, where security forces are trying to capture them. Likewise, terrorists who escaped to mountainous areas following the operations in the Şırnak province close to the Iraqi border are being pursued in regions close to Siirt.

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