Turkey recovers Iranian arms from Syria-bound train raided by Kurdish guerillas

Turkish authorities have announed the seizure of weapons hidden on a Syria-bound train from Iran after Kurdish PKK guerillas derailed it with a bomb near the town of Genc in Bingol province. News reports said the weapons included 300 rockets and a rocket launch pad. Turkish authorities suspect Iran is using Turkey as a transit route to send arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon via Syria.

Meanwhile, Turkey continues to send military reinforcements to its border with Iraq, amid debate over whether to launch raids on PKK bases across the frontier. “The PKK must be eliminated as a problem between Iraq and Turkey,” said Oguz Celikkol, Turkey’s special envoy to Iraq. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, called for the US and Iraq to destroy the PKK bases May 29, while warning: “Our patience has run out. The necessary steps will be taken when needed.”

Asked whether Iraqi authorities had been informed about a possible cross-border operation, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Levent Bilman said the decision was “only Turkey’s business.” He added: “We do not have to inform anybody about the possibility of such an intervention.” (AlJazeera, May 30)

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