Thursday, November 15, 2007
See No Evil, Hear No Evil
Turkey's military has acknowledged receiving "real time" American intelligence that will help it target pinpoint strikes against the PKK in northern Iraq, while denying reports that it had already begun to carry out air strikes. Meanwhile, representatives from five political parties in Iraqi Kurdistan travelled to Istanbul to meet with Turkish officials. So it looks like there's been at least some movement since the meeting between Erdogan and Bush ten days ago. And I suspect that in the next few weeks we're going to get scattered reports of limited Turkish strikes on PKK positions which will either be denied or overlooked by all parties.
The key person to watch will be Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government. He's consistently been the most confrontational voice among Iraqi Kurds, responding to Turkey's threats and warnings with provocative declarations aimed at tripping all of Turkey's red flags on the Kurdish question. The Turks have for their part categorically refused to officially recognize Barzani as anything other than a "tribal leader". So if they now manage to reach a working compromise, it's safe to say the PKK hurdle has been cleared for now. If not, stay tuned.