Search

 

Cablegate: Turkey/Iraq Sitrep 4: Ground Operations, Military

VZCZCXRO6337
OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHAK #0354 0561218
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251218Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5341
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/39ABG CP INCIRLIK AB TU IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/425ABG IZMIR TU//CC// IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5// IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU//TCH// IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA//
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS ANKARA 000354

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS MARR PTER TU IZ
SUBJECT: TURKEY/IRAQ SITREP 4: GROUND OPERATIONS, MILITARY
ANNOUNCEMENT, PRESS COMMENT

REF: A. ANKARA 0331
B. ANKARA 0340
C. ANKARA 0343

1. (SBU) Turkish ground operations in the Zap-Metina area of
northern Iraq continue, with Turkish troops supported by
artillery and air strikes as well as helicopter gunships.
Weather in the objective area is expected to deteriorate
significantly over the next 24-48 hours, limiting air
operations. Commercial and sustainment vehicle traffic at
the Habur Gate crossing between Turkey and Iraq remains at
normal levels. President Gul received a briefing at the
Turkish General Staff (TGS) on the ongoing operations on
February 25.

2. (U) TGS reported on February 24 that Turkish troops
continue to engage in close combat and continue to destroy
PKK shelters, weapons, ammunition, and supplies. According
to the TGS, a total of 112 PKK terrorists, including
leadership figures, have been killed in fighting as of
February 24. Eight Turkish troops were reported killed on
February 24. A TGS announcement claimed that the PKK are
booby-trapping the bodies of dead PKK terrorists in order to
cause casualties among Turkish forces. The Turkish military
is investigating the crash of one of its helicopters in the
border region. The announcement also alleges that the
military pressure is causing infighting and fratricide among
PKK members.

3. (U) Turkish newspapers continue to speculate on the size,
scope, and duration of the ground operation. Ercan Citlioglu
speculates in mainstream Sabah that the land operation will
continue for two months and Turkish units will return to
Turkey in April. He adds that "The U.S. has not voiced
objections to the Turkish operations and this shows that the
process of liquidating Masoud Barzani has begun." Meanwhile,
Enis Berberoglu writes in mainstream Hurriyet that the number
of Turkish combat troops in northern Iraq was limited to a
few thousand, indicating the operation would be short in
scope and duration. Murat Yetkin writes in liberal Radikal
that the ground operations initiated last week proves that
the U.S. is serious about helping Turkey against the PKK.
Kemalist Cumhuriyet asserts that the Turkish army will
advance 50 kilometers into Iraq and Istanbul's Kanal 7 TV is
reporting that elite Turkish troops have already landed at
the PKK's Qandil mountain redoubt. Turkish papers have also
picked up stories from Kurdish media alleging that 70 U.S.
Army tanks and HUMMVs are moving towards Dohuk, while a
Peshmerga spokesperson has denied that story.

4. (U) According to mainstream Hurriyet, Turkish business
groups support the ground operation. While they anticipate
it may slow trade with Iraq in the short term, they believe
that improved security will benefit Turkey-Iraq trade over
the longer term.

5. (U) Turkish media are also reporting that U.S. Defense
Secretary Gates, scheduled to visit Ankara February 27-28,

SIPDIS
stated that the operation should be kept short and urged the
Turkish government to adopt political and economic measures
to keep the PKK from winning the support of Turkey's Kurdish
population. Columnists across the political spectrum
continue to point out that cross-border operations alone will
not solve the problem and urge the government to undertake
comprehensive political, economic, and social measures to
address the Kurdish issue, including 24-hour Kurdish language
broadcasting.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC