Turkish warplanes attacked PKK guerilla positions across the border in the mountains of northern Iraq early Dec. 17, the military General Staff said in a statement. BBC reports that 10 villages were hit, and at least one person killed. A representative of the Kurdish Regional Government said the struck villages were not held by the PKK, and asserted the attacks were illegal. The representative said that while Turkish forces have previously hit Iraqi territory with artillery and helicopters, this attack marked the first time planes were used. (Reuters, BBC World Service, Dec. 16)
Maj. Gen. Richard Sherlock of the US Joint Staff called for dialogue between Ankara and Baghdad to find a solution to the crisis. (Al-Sumaria TV, Dec. 16) Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), State Department counter-terrorism pointman Ambassador Dell Dailey was asked if the PKK problem could be resolved militarily or if a political solution should be sought. He replied: “We have not looked at a military solution as the solution to the PKK. Our preference is a political solution.” Asked if his remarks were for the international problem caused by the PKK’s presence in northern Iraq or for a solution in Turkey, he said: “Both in Iraq and in Turkey.” (PanArmenian, Dec. 16)
The PKK is officially designated a “foreign terrorist organization” by the US State Department.