Monday, June 4, 2007
With all the talk about Turkish troops massing on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan, it's pretty easy to forget about the Turkish troops that are already in Iraqi Kurdistan. 1,357 of them to be exact, a majority of them special forces. And they've been there under a special arrangement between the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the US, and Turkey ever since 2003.
This past weekend, a carload of them dressed in civilian clothes got into a tense standoff with Peshmurga forces manning a checkpoint in Sulaimaniyah. The Kurds backed off once the Turkish forces identified themselves, and both sides later agreed that it was a simple misunderstanding. But it's the kind of misunderstanding that, given the current situation, could prove disastrous.