February 22, 2008

Thousands of Turkish troops have crossed into northern Iraq and thousands more are at the border ready to join them in their hunt for Kurdish PKK guerrillas, a senior military source said today.

Turkey’s military said the land offensive – the first major incursion in a decade – had fighter aircraft in support, and Turkish television reported that 10,000 troops had entered Iraq.

“The Turkish Armed Forces, which attach great importance to Iraq’s territorial integrity and stability, will return home in the shortest time possible after its goals have been achieved,” the General Staff said in a statement posted on its website.

The military source based in southeast Turkey told Reuters: “Thousands of troops have crossed the border and thousands more are waiting at the border to join them if necessary.”

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