Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Turkey and the Kurds

This could get nasty.

SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq, Feb 11 (Reuters) - An Iraqi Kurdish leader said on Tuesday that neighbouring Turkey, which plans to send troops into northern Iraq if there is a war, should stay out or risk dragging other
regional powers into the country.

The United States has told the Kurds that Turkey would set up a buffer zone inside Iraq along the length of its border to control any flow of refugees who might try to flee a possible conflict.

"The best thing the neighbours can do is to stay out as any country entering Iraq could draw in other neighbouring countries and complicate the transition to democracy," said Barham Salah, prime minister of one half of the breakaway Kurdish region that has been self-governing since the Gulf War.